Structured settlement primary market annuity sales increased by $97,315,462 (approximately 2%) to $5,347,578,153 in 2015 compared with $5,250,262,691 in 2014 according to industry estimates compiled and recently distributed by Melissa Evola Price. Total 2015 structured settlement cases, however, decreased to 25,152 from 26,572 a year earlier for an average case premium of $212,610.
The 2015 annual premium totals still fall substantially short of the historic 12 month industry high ($6,226,578,725 in 2008) after consistently averaging close to $6 billion annually from 2001-2007.
Adding these 2015 results to historic U.S. structured settlement totals, S2KM estimates the following primary market metrics from 1976 thru 2015:
- Total annuity premium: $150 billion.
- Total structured settlement cases: 853,800
- Average annuity premium: $175,700.
Berkshire Hathaway continued its recent primary market leadership in 2015 by generating $1.306 billion of structured settlement annuity premium - an eight (8%) percent decline from 2014 but still 24% of the 2015 industry total. Evola Price's report did not indicate how much of Berkshire Hathaway's premium was attributable to reinsurance and/or non-qualified structured settlement sales.
The U.S. structured settlement market now consists of eight annuity providers (down from more than 20 as recently as 2002) which are members of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA). 2015 sales results (rounded in millions) for the seven other structured settlement annuity providers (per Evola Price's report) plus the rounded percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) from comparable 2013 results:
- Pacific Life: $871 MM (+13%)
- MetLife: $772 MM (-11%)
- Prudential: $772 MM (+8%)
- Amgen: $613 MM (+29%)
- Liberty Life $548 MM (-10%)
- New York Life: $368 MM (+18%)
- Mutual of Omaha: $98 MM (+113%)
Evola Price's 2015 compilation also reports an annual increase in annuity premium for non-qualified structured settlement assignments (from $182.3 million in 2014 to $190.3 million in 2015) as a portion of the overall structured settlement numbers. Non-qualified assignments represent transfers of periodic payment obligations that do not meet the requirements of IRC sections 130 and 104(a)(1) or (2) including deferred attorney fees.
Although Evola Price's report does not indicate the percentage of structured settlement premium and/or annuities attributable to workers compensation Medicare set-aside (WCMSA) cases, WCMSAs have become an increasingly important submarket for structured settlements. S2KM has previously estimated that as much as eight (8%) percent of recent structured settlement premium and 24 percent of recent structured settlement annuities are attributable to WCMSAs.
Evola Price's reports do not provide information about the structured settlement secondary market. For S2KM's most recent estimates of secondary market metrics, see this prior blog post.