25 Largest Commercial Auto Insurers in the U.S.

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While many property/casualty insurers offer commercial auto insurance, some write more policies than others. This is evident from the list of the top 25 commercial auto insurers that appears below. The list is derived from a market share report published in March of 2018 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

All of the insurers on the "largest 25" list are multi-line insurance companies (insurers that write more than one kind of insurance).

The top five include Progressive and Nationwide, both of which focus on personal lines and small business insurance. Travelers, Liberty Mutual, and Zurich offer personal and commercial coverages. These companies insure a wide range of businesses in a variety of industries.

Some commercial insurers have developed their own proprietary auto forms, but many issue policies using the ISO Business Auto Policy (BAP) and accompanying endorsements. Most commercial vehicles can be insured under the standard BAP. However, vehicles used to haul goods for others for a fee should be insured under the ISO Motor Carrier Form.

If you recently renewed a commercial auto policy, you may have noticed that your premium went up.  Commercial auto rates rose in 2017 and have continued to rise in 2018. According to Insurance Journal, commercial auto insurers incurred underwriting losses each year between 2011 and 2016.

This means insurers paid more in losses and expenses than they collected in premiums. Because interest rates were low, insurers couldn't rely on interest income to cover their losses. Thus, insurers began raising rates in 2017. 

There are a number of reasons why auto losses have increased in recent years.

One is the strong economy, which has put more cars on the road. As traffic congestion has increased, the number of accidents has gone up as well. Some other factors are listed below. These were cited by Deloitte in a 2018 report.

  • Distracted drivers. Many accidents occur because drivers are looking at their cell phones or other electronic devices rather than the road.
  • Rising medical costs. Bodily injury claims have become more expensive due to increasing medical costs.
  • Catastrophes. Large numbers of autos have been damaged or destroyed in catastrophic events like the flood in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Escalating Repair Costs. Many modern vehicles are equipped with blind spot monitors and collision-avoidance systems, both of which utilize sensors and cameras. When vehicles containing these systems are damaged, they are very expensive to repair.

While auto insurance premiums may be rising, there are steps you can take to lower your cost of insurance. One is to order a motor vehicle report (MVR) on each employee driver to ensure he or she has a satisfactory driving record. Many states permit employers to order MVRs as long as they have prior consent from employees. Secondly, you can institute a driver safety program.

Your program should include a policy on the safe use of cells phones and other devices on the road. Thirdly, consider using telematics to keep track of company autos and monitor workers' driving behavior. Some insurers offer discounts to businesses that utilize telematics to improve fleet safety.

Here is the list of the top 25 commercial auto insurers in the U.S. Note that "premiums" means direct written premiums. These are the total premiums insurers collected in 2017 without adjustment for risks ceded to reinsurance companies.

 Rank Insurer 2017 Written Premiums (US$)   2017 Market Share (%)
 1 Progressive Group 3.179 Bn 8.85
 2 Travelers Group 2.264 Bn 6.30
 3 Liberty Mutual Group 1.734 Bn 4.83
 4 Zurich Ins. Group 1.690 Bn 4.70
 5 Nationwide Corp. Grp. 1.679 Bn 4.67
 6 Old Republic Group 1.278 Bn 3.56
 7 Berkshire Hathaway Grp.  1.185 Bn 3.30
 8 AmTrust NGH Grp. 1.094 Bn 3.04
 9 Auto Owners Grp. 859 M* 2.39
 10 Chubb Ltd. Grp. 826 M 2.30
 11 Tokyo Marine Holdings Grp. 719 M 2.00
 12 American International Grp. 662 M 1.84
 13 Cincinnatti Fin. Group 654 M 1.82
 14 American Fin. Group 600 M 1.67
 15 State Farm Group 559 M 1.64
 16 Hartford Fire & Cas. Group 562 M 1.56
 17 WR Berkley Corp. Group 549 M 1.53
 18 Erie Insurance Group 515 M 1.43
 19 Markel Corp. Group 497 M 1.38
 20 Selective Insurance Group 487 M 1.36
 21 Sentry Insurance Group 438 M 1.22
 22 Fairfax Financial Group 432 M 1.20
 23 EMC Ins. Co. Group 421 M 1.17
 24 Allstate Insurance Group 373 M 1.04
 25 CNA Insurance Group 372 M 1.04
  Industry Total 35.9 Bn 

*M=Million