Ward Group, provider of benchmarking and best practices services to the insurance industry, has announced the 2014 Ward’s 50 top performing life/health insurers. Each Ward's 50 company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed. This is the 24th year Ward Group has conducted the analysis.

The Ward’s 50 L&H group produced a 21.8 percent statutory return on average equity from 2009 to 2013, compared to 8.1 percent for the L&H industry overall, Ward Group said

See also: 2014 Ward’s 50 P&C Insurers Announced

“Most insurers saw improvements in both financial returns and overall premium levels,” explained Jeff Rieder, partner and head of Ward Group. “In clear signs of continued optimism, our research shows considerable investments are being made in technology, product enhancements and identifying ways to deliver a better customer experience. Companies will be challenged to manage the costs of these initiatives, but have strong financial positions to support the investments. Total policyholder surplus continues to grow and overall financial stability for the industry remains very strong. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results.”

To qualify for the Ward’s 50 designation, insurers must pass minimum thresholds, including: surplus and premiums of at least $50 million for each of the past five years; adjusted net income in at least four of the past five years; compound annual growth in premiums of between -10 percent and +40 percent.

Insurers then are measured and scored on the following:

  • Five-year average return on average
  • Five-year average return on average
  • Five-year average return on total
  • Five-year growth in revenue
  • Five-year growth in surplus

The Ward’s 50 L&H group also outpaced the industry for five-year policyholder surplus growth, achieving 42.5 percent compared to 25.3 percent, and net premium growth of 22.7 percent compared to 16.6 percent. The group also achieved lower expense ratios.
“The expense ratio increased in 2013 for the L&H benchmark. We still find the Ward’s 50 benchmarks comparing better than the industry average.” Rieder said. Expenses relative to revenue were 14.0 percent lower for the Ward’s 50 L&H group last year.

2014 Ward’s 50 Life & Health Companies (alphabetically)

Aetna Life Insurance Company


Alfa Life Insurance Corporation

Amalgamated Life Insurance Company

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American Family Life Insurance Company

American Fidelity Assurance Company

American General Life Insurance Company

American Republic Insurance Company

Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Anthem Life Insurance Company

Bankers Life & Casualty Company

Berkley Life and Health Insurance Company

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

BlueBonnet Life Insurance Company

BMI Companies

Central United Life Insurance Company


Combined Insurance Company of America

Companion Life Insurance Company

Continental Assurance Company

Erie Family Life Insurance Company

Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

Farmers New World Life Insurance Company

Federated Life Insurance Company

First Investors Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company

Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company

General Re Life Insurance Corporation

Great American Life Insurance Company

HCC Life Insurance Company

HM Life Insurance Company

Homesteaders Life Company

Liberty National Life Insurance Company

Life Insurance Company of the Southwest

LifeCare Assurance Company

LifeWise Assurance Company

M Life Insurance Company

National Teachers Associates Life Insurance Company

National Western Life Insurance Company

Ozark National Life Insurance Company

Protective Life Insurance Company

RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

Tennessee Farmers Life Insurance Company

Trustmark Insurance Company

United Insurance Company of America

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company

Universal Guaranty Life Insurance Company

USAA Life Insurance Company 

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