It's debatable if the fiduciary standard is 'higher' than suitability. But the better question might be, who's holding the bar?
A.M. Best's annual ranking of the world's largest insurers reflects the impact of growth in Asia; the eurozone crisis and lackluster economies.
The ranking in all three editions of this week's BestWeek has Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. and Axa S.A. holding their positions as the largest insurers as ranked by 2011 total non-banking assets and 2011 net premiums written.
Four Japanese companies are now in the top 10 as measured by net premiums written, representing the greatest presence of any single country. Japan Post moved up from fifth to third place; National Mutual Insurance Federation held steady in sixth place; Nippon Life jumped from 12th-largest to seventh and Meiji Yasuda Life jumped from 20th to eighth.
U.S.-based American International Group, which had been selling off assets to pay back its 2008 U.S. federal bailout, continued to shrink, dropping 13.7 percent in net premiums written and falling from the 13th-largest to the 19th-largest by net premiums written, and dropping 18.7 percent in assets to fall from the fifth to the eighth-largest. MetLife Inc. joined the top 25 companies as ranked by net premiums written.
-A.M. Best gives its 2013 rating outlooks for the commercial, personal lines, reinsurance, health and life & annuity sectors. BestWeek U.S./Canada offers in-depth commentary.
-The Jan. 1 tax deal struck to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff is receiving qualified industry support. BestWeek U.S./ Canada looks at how the deal avoids tax hikes on a significant portion of insurance professionals, provides certainty on the estate tax and extends so-called "doc fix" affecting reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients.
BestWeek is published by A.M. Best Co. for insurance professionals. To subscribe, visit www.ambest.com/sales/BestWeek.
BestWeek can be accessed on iPads and mobile devices www.bestweek.com. Go to www.bestweek.com on your iPad or mobile device, click on the BestWeek edition.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Co. is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.
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