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What has a decade of change brought for Iowa’s largest life insurers?


The past decade has brought a flurry of changes to life and annuity insurance landscape, with a mix of  mergers, acquisitions, name changes and new players that have shuffled the deck of Iowa-based insurers. As the calendar rolls over to a new year and a new decade, we thought it would be interesting to dig into the data to see how the list of largest Iowa-based life insurers has changed over the past 10 years.

The life insurance arms of Des Moines-based Principal and Cedar Rapids-based Transamerica have remained the No. 1 and No. 2 largest Iowa-domiciled life insurers by assets, while Athene Annuity and Life has moved into third place based on 2018 assets, according to the most recent data from the Iowa Insurance Division. 

Many of Iowa’s largest life companies have grown considerably in assets over the past 10 years, comparing the leaders in 2018 with the top companies from 2008. 

For instance, Midland National Life, an operating company of Sammons Financial Group, has more than doubled its assets to nearly $58 billion, while another Sammons company, North American Company for Life and Health, has more than tripled its size since 2008. American Equity has also nearly tripled its assets over a 10-year period, to just under $54 billion. 

Overall, Iowa’s 10 largest life insurers also made up a much bigger pie in 2018 compared with 10 years earlier. Cumulatively, the 10 largest life insurers accounted for approximately $660 billion in assets, a gain of nearly $250 billion from 2008, or an annual growth rate of about 6%. 

Here is a snapshot showing how the mix has changed from 2008 to 2018:

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