The insurance industry has never been more profitable

The first few years of our new century brought hardship for American businesses and investors. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the stock market slumped, the airline industry still hasn’t recovered, thousands of Georgians lost their jobs, gave up expected pay raises, lost health insurance coverage, and fought for ways to keep their families’ budgets on track.

But insurance companies have made a stunning comeback. The property casualty insurance industry posted a 900% increase in profits in 2003 over 2002, according to the industry’s national association. In dollar figures, this record-breaking profit for the industry means that, nationally, insurers made $29 billion in 2003 – nearly 10 times the $3 billion profit they posted in 2002.

The property casualty insurance industry includes auto insurers and companies that sell malpractice insurance to health care providers, such as MAG Mutual.

But wait, there’s more! Weiss Ratings Inc. – an independent research firm that rates the fiscal health insurance companies – reported this week that the nation’s property casualty insurance companies reported profits of $28.1 billion in the first nine months of 2004 – a 22 percent increase over the same period in 2003.

Despite these huge gains, Georgia consumers have yet to see a drop in their premiums to match the high dollars that insurance executives are pocketing.

Georgia Watch has called for a full-accounting of insurance industry profits, and real reform that will hold insurers accountable to Georgia consumers.