Property/casualty insurance can be broken down into two major categories: commercial lines or types of insurance and personal lines. Personal lines, as the term suggests, includes coverages for individuals—auto and homeowners insurance. Commercial lines, which accounts for about half of U.S. property/casualty insurance industry premium, includes the many kinds of insurance products designed for businesses.
Commercial insurance performs a critical role in the world economy. Without it, the economy could not function. Insurers essentially protect the economic system from failure by assuming the risks inherent in the production of goods and services. For further information on commercial lines see the Commercial Insurance Web Site (http://www.commerciallines.org).
There are over seven million small businesses in the U.S., ranging from construction firms to grocery stores to home-based businesses. All have one thing in common: Without the right insurance coverage, each could be wiped out by a disaster or a lawsuit. In addition, almost all businesses are accountable for the safety of their workers and bear responsibility for injuries suffered on the job. Visit our commercial insurance page for information on what coverages businesses should consider as well as what business owners should know about risk management and loss control.
“Other liability," which protects the policyholder from legal liability arising from negligence, carelessness or a failure to act, is the largest commercial line. It accounted for 16.9 percent of all commercial premiums in 2011. It does not include products liability, which is a separate line of insurance. Workers compensation insurance, which provides for the cost of medical care and rehabilitation for injured workers and lost wages and death benefits for the dependents of persons killed in work-related accidents, is the second largest commercial lines (16.6 percent of commercial premiums in 2011), followed by commercial auto (9.8 percent of commercial premiums in 2011).
PREMIUMS WRITTEN BY LINE, PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE, 2011
(1) After reinsurance transactions, excluding state funds.
(2) Before reinsurance transactions; includes some state funds.
(3) Includes international and miscellaneous coverages.
(4) Premiums from certain insurers that write health insurance but file financial statements with state regulators on a property/casualty rather than life/health basis.
(5) Only includes non-proportional reinsurance, an arrangement in which a reinsurer makes payments to an insurer whose losses exceed a predetermined amount.
(6) Coverages protecting against legal liability resulting from negligence, carelessness, or failure to act.
Source: SNL Financial LC., III.org.