Major Types of Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance companies come in different types depending on how they are structured and the states where policies are sold. Typical life insurance companies can be either a nation or regional carrier or included as part of a property and casualty insurance company. Life insurance companies typically also offer various types of financial products, such as annuity products in addition to a various types of life insurance policies.

New York Life

The company, founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States based on their amount of revenue in 2006. The company focuses solely on traditional life insurance products and annuities available through various subsidiaries and the parent company. New York Life insurance uses the captive agent method, with over 7,500 agents, to sell products in all fifty states and many international countries including China and South Korea.

Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide insurance is an insurance company that operates throughout the United States that provides a wide variety of property and casualty insurance that includes life insurance. Nationwide is also a mutual insurance company that is known as a multi-line insurer. The company offers a variety of life insurance products including variable, universal and whole life insurance policies. Nationwide also offers financial products through a subsidiary called Nationwide Financial Services.


This company is one of the largest insurance companies and was established in 1975. In 2001 the company demutualized and became a stock insurance company. Life insurance policies are sold through a combination of career or captive agents and third-party distribution methods such as independent insurance agents. The company offers traditional life insurance products such as term life insurance and whole life insurance policies.

Farmers Insurance

Farmers insurance, which is known as the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, was formed in 1928 when an automobile insurance company called the Farmers Insurance Exchange was created. The company’s life insurance operations is called Farmers New World Life Insurance Company and is located in Mercer, Washington. Life insurance policies and annuity products are sold by captive agents and independent agents.

State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance is a mutual property and casualty insurance company that was established in 1922. The company is one of the top 25 largest companies that make up the Fortune 500. State Farm uses career or captive agents to provide automobile, homeowners and life insurance policies to their customers. Life insurance products include term life, whole life and universal life insurance polices as well as annuity products.