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Progressive's commercial auto domination continues in '20; industry premiums up

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Progressive's commercial auto domination continues in '20; industry premiums up

Progressive Corp. continued to dominate the U.S. commercial auto insurance space in 2020 even though it recorded a slight decrease in direct written premiums for the first time in a decade, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

The Mayfield, Ohio-based insurer preserved its top spot in the commercial auto market share rankings in 2020, posting direct written premiums of $5.57 billion, compared to $5.58 billion in 2019. Most of that small decrease decrease looks to have been caused by the transportation network company businesses of subsidiaries Progressive Express Insurance Co. and Blue Hill Specialty Insurance Co. Inc.

For Progressive Express, total direct premiums written decreased by $100.1 million in 2020, mainly due to a $145.3 million decline in its Florida transportation network company business as miles driven fell. Blue Hill saw total direct written premiums decline by $275.8 million, thanks to premiums at its California transportation network company falling by $362.0 million.

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Overall, the commercial auto industry posted direct written premiums of $45.92 billion in 2020, up 1.1% from a year ago.

The Travelers Cos. Inc. retained its second spot in the rankings as it recorded premium growth of 2.2%. Old Republic International Corp. jumped three spots to third with about $1.88 billion in direct premiums written for the year. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. dropped two places to seventh, as its direct written premiums fell 9.5% to $1.47 billion.

Of the sector's largest underwriters, American International Group Inc. recorded the largest premium growth at 21.5%. The company jumped up six places from its 2020 ranking. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., which dropped to 18th, had the largest year-over-year decline as direct written premiums tumbled 21%.

Among the top 10 insurers, Progressive, Zurich Insurance Group AG and Chubb Ltd. recorded combined ratios of less than 100%, at 84.1%, 96.0% and 99.8%, respectively.