Assets held by life insurers back the companies' life, annuity, and health liabilities. Accumulating these assets, via the collection of premiums from policyholders and earnings on investments, provides the U.S. economy with an important source of investment capital.
At the end of 2016, life insurers had $6.4 trillion invested in the U.S. economy. Life insurers' represent one of the largest investors in U.S. capital markets:
- Life insurers are a major source of bond financing for American business, holding almost 22% of all U.S. corporate bonds.
- Life insurers invest in American business for the long-term. More than 39% of general account bonds held by life insurers had a maturity of more than 20 years at the time of purchase. At the time of purchase, 72% had a maturity of more than 10 years.
- Life insurers provide long-term capital to the commercial mortgage market, financing more than $435 billion, or about one-eighth, of U.S. commercial mortgages.