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By the Numbers: A deep dive into the data that matters

By the Numbers: A deep dive into the data that matters

By Claude Penland

You might be familiar with Harper’s magazine and its Harper’s Index.

The monthly magazine is somewhat famous for including a page filled with juxtaposed facts and statistics of international importance or interest. One line of researched facts will be supported by the next line of supported statistics, or it might be entirely refuted by the next line of information.

The editors keep you on your toes!

I have always found the Harper’s Index educational and interesting.

As I reviewed the year’s insurance, financial, data, and technology news and forecasts to prepare for this article, my radar that detects absurdity, Tremendous Industry Change, and Frank Zappa started beeping at high frequencies.

The population density of attorneys is high in some areas of the country. Marijuana is becoming popular. So are drones. Automobile accidents, too. Internet-of-Things machine-to-machine conversations are skyrocketing. There is renewed interest in monitored skin implants. $2.3 trillion was spent on insurance in the United States. This is where Crash Davis of Bull Durham fame says, “We’re dealing with a lot of [stuff].”

I hope that—in some small way—my attempt at a Harper’s Index based on the industry news and forecasts sourced in the endnotes proves worthy of your time.

Businesses in the U.S.: 30.23 million1

U.S. cyber insurance policies in force in 2017: 2.6 million2                 

Increase in U.S. searches for “data science” on Google over the past five years: +400%5

Increase in U.S. actuarial job postings that mention Python over the past 12 months: +40%6

Increase in U.S. searches for “python bite” on Google over the past five years: +200%5            

Growth in Society of Actuaries credentialed actuaries from 2010 to 2017: +33%7

Growth in Casualty Actuarial Society credentialed actuaries from 2010 to 2017: +46%8

Actuaries in the U.S. in 2016: 23,6009

Lawyers on the island of Manhattan in 2017: 70,00010

Growth of the worldwide wearable technology market in the next three years: +200%11

Three areas of Insurance impacted greatly by wearables: workers’ compensation, life insurance, health insurance12

Percentage of London citizens surveyed who would consider having a chip implanted to help them manage their lives, including tracking health: 40%13

Year Frank Zappa published the song “Who Are the Brain Police?” which included a kazoo solo: 196614

Five areas of Insurance potentially affected by quantum computing: artificial intelligence, actuarial modeling, core systems, data transfer, and data security15

Realistic goal for when quantum computers will begin solving real-world problems, according to Intel’s head of quantum computing: 202816

Five areas of Insurance potentially affected by blockchain technology: fraud detection, risk prevention, claims settlement, reinsurance, and medical records17

Five technical barriers to blockchain technology: scability, lack of standards, storage, lack of governance, privacy18

Rank of Miami’s assets in year 2070 among the world’s most at-risk cities for coastal flooding: 1

Rank of New York City: 3

Rank of Amsterdam: 1419

Rank of Noah among most popular U.S. male baby names in 2017: 220                           

US IoT insurance premium market by 2022: $43 billion23

Increase in U.S. searches for “gig economy” on Google in the last five years: +1,800%5

Percentage of all IoT devices that will connect machine-to-machine by 2020: 46%24

Year that Alvin Schwartz published the book More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: 198422

Value of connected health market by 2024: $36 billion24

Year that Jan & Stan Berenstain published the book The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV: 198422

Year a self-driving car by Francis Houdina debuted in the U.S.: 192525

Percentage of new cars in the U.S. sold in 2030 that will be driverless, according to Goldman Sachs: 60%26

Maximum percentage of cars on the road in the U.S. 2028 that will be driverless, according to Warren Buffett: 10%26

Percentage of serious crashes that are not due to human error, according to National Highway Transportation Safety Association: 6%26

Of the top four U.S. cell carriers, percentage who sold your real-time location to third parties in 2018: 100%27

2017 U.S. health insurance premiums: $847 billion (37% of total)

2017 U.S. life insurance premiums: $810 billion (35% of total)

2017 U.S. property and casualty insurance premiums: $640 billion (28% of total)

2017 total U.S. insurance premiums: $2.3 trillion28

2017 U.S. premium market share of Top 5 insurers: 19%28

Anticipated 2019 U.S. medical cost trend: +6.0%29

Annual U.S. premium growth, health, 2008–2017: +7.7%

Annual U.S. premium growth, life, 2008–2017: +1.1%

Annual U.S. premium growth, property and casualty, 2008–2017: +3.0%

Annual U.S. premium growth, total, 2008–2017: +3.7%28

U.S. direct life and health insurers, 2017 total employment, combined: 605,681

U.S. direct property and casualty insurers, 2017 total employment: 467,724

U.S. state insurance departments, 2017 total employment: 10,96328

Year global insurtech investment reached an all-time high: 201830

Percentage of U.S. insurtech deals involving an insurer/reinsurer as an investor: 83%31

Increase in U.S. searches for “insurtech” on Google over the past three years: +1,000%5

What keeps global insurance CEOs up at night?

  1. Overregulation, 2. Cyber threats, 3. Speed of technological change, 4. Populism, 5. Geopolitical uncertainty32

Percentage of Americans with life insurance in 1989: 77%33

In 2018: 59%34

Approximate U.S. corporate pension plan buyout volume, conversions to annuities, 2012–2018: $100 billion35

Expected amount of long-term care insurance claims paid in the next 10 years: $100 billion36

Value of the global insurance-linked securities market: $100 billion37

Estimated amount spent on drones, 2016–2020: $100 billion38


CLAUDE PENLAND, MAAA, ACAS, is a partner with Ezra Penland Actuarial Recruitment.


1  https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/2018-Small-Business-Profiles-US.pdf

2  https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/05/21/489930.htm

3  https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/09/10/us-marijuana-sales-are-predicted-to-hit-30-billion.aspx

4  https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/02/27/legal-marijuana-rising-insurance-premiums-colorado/100053/

5  https://trends.google.com

6  Ezra Penland internal data

7  https://www.soa.org/about/annual-report/

8  https://www.casact.org/about/thecas/annual_reports/Annual-Report-2017.pdf

9  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm

10  https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2018/05/14/new-york-lawyer-report-how-many-lawyers-per-resident-each-county-new-york-state/545197002/

11  https://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2018/10/23/smart-wearables-market-to-double-by-2022-27-billion-indus-try-forecast/#2364e11e2656

12  https://www.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_wearables.htm

13  https://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/data-analytics/insights/discover-the-possibilities-of-wearable-technology-in-the-work-place.html

14  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Are_the_Brain_Po-lice%3F

15  https://www.dig-in.com/list/top-5-insurance-quan-tum-computing-use-cases

16  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-close-are-we-really-to-building-a-quantum-computer/

17  https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-insur-ance-disruption/

18  https://medium.com/@preethikasireddy/fundamen-tal-challenges-with-public-blockchains-253c800e9428

19  https://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/metadata/publica-tions/ranking-of-the-worlds-cities-to-coastal-flooding/11240357

20  https://ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

21  https://www.skyhook.com/blog/iot/internet-of-things-sta-tistics

22  https://www.goodreads.com/book/popular_by_date/1984

23  https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/iot-insur-ance-market-to-touch-us-43-billion-by-2022-2018-12-10

24  https://www.skyhook.com/blog/iot/internet-of-things-sta-tistics

25  https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2017/03/15/10-trends-impacting-the-insurance-industry/

26  https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2018/06/06/liabili-ty-in-the-age-of-autonomous-vehicles/

27  https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/09/us-cell-carriers-still-selling-your-location-data/

28  https://www.naic.org/state_report_cards/report_card_ us.pdf

29  https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/health-industries/library/behind-the-numbers.html

30  https://www.realwire.com/releases/Investment-in-In-surtech-Helps-Drive-Fintech-Boom

31  https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-glob-al-insurance-trends-analysis-2018/$File/ey-global-insur-ance-trends-analysis-2018.pdf

32  https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/2018/deep-dives/pwc-ceo-survey-2018-insurance.pdf

33  https://tearsheet.co/insurtech/the-49-biggest-trends-in-insurance-and-insurtech-for-2019-according-to-experts/

34  https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/new-study-reveals-more-than-40-percent-of-americans-dont-have-any-form-of-life-insurance-2018-09-04

35  https://www.pionline.com/article/20180412/ON-LINE/180419943/aon-us-corporate-pension-plan-buyout-vol-ume-to-hold-steady-at-about-25-billion-in-2018

36  http://www.aaltci.org/news/long-term-care-insurance-as-sociation-news/long-term-care-insurance-companies-will-pay-out-100-billion-over-next-decade

37  https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20190114/STORY/912326110/ILS-sector-grows-11-to-nearly-$100-bil-lion-Aon

38  https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/technolo-gy-driving-innovation/drones/

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