GEICO Corp. is now the second-largest private auto insurer in the United States, replacing Allstate Corp., according to a report from SNL Financial, a news and analytics firm covering the financial services industries.

GEICO, a division of Berkshire Hathaway, had $4.89 billion in direct written premiums in Q3 2013, compared to $4.65 billion for Allstate, SNL said. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. was the largest, with $8.72 billion in direct written premiums for the quarter.


Q3 Ranking by Direct Written Premium:

State Farm Mutual Auto - $8.724 billion

GEICO -  $4.885 billion

Allstate Corp. - $4.651 billion

Progressive Corp. - $3.893 billion

Liberty Mutual - $2.504 billion   


Allstate and GEICO have been battling for the No. 2 spot. In the second quarter, Allstate had $4.46 billion in direct written premiums, compared to GEICO's $4.42 billion. And in the first quarter, GEICO held the lead, with $4.72 billion in premium, compared to Allstate's $4.53 billion.

“However, GEICO in the third quarter surpassed Allstate on a last-twelve-months basis for the first time,” SNL said. GEICO in the previous 12 months recorded $18.11 billion in direct premiums written, compared to $17.97 billion at Allstate. In the second quarter, Allstate was narrowly in the lead with $17.79 billion in direct premiums written in the prior 12 months, compared to $17.62 billion for GEICO.

Meyer Shields, an analyst for Keefe Bruyette & Woods, previously had forecast that GEICO would pass Allstate by late 2013 or early 2014, SNL said, and that GEICO likely would update its marketing materials, which frequently reference the insurer’s market position. In an interview with SNL, Shields said Allstate has back in growth mode and had changed its business model after enduring large losses related to Superstorm Sandy last year.

For a look at Q1 rankings, click here: Q1 Top 10 Auto and Homeowners Insurers by Direct Written Premiums 

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