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Economic Impact of Insurance

The insurance industry is a major contributor to New York State’s economy. In addition to providing financial security to consumers and businesses, and vital services to people in time of need, the insurance industry represents a significant share of the state’s economic activity. The insurance industry contributed $58.6 billion to the New York gross state product (GSP) in 2015, accounting for 4 percent of the GSP, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Insurance contributes more than a variety of other key industries including construction, utilities, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

A Leading Employer

Insurance is a leading employer in New York. In 2016, the industry provided 197,257 jobs in New York, including those employed by insurance carriers, agencies, brokerages and related services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York also boasts one of the largest insurance workforces in the country. The Empire State ranked fourth nationwide for the number of jobs provided by the insurance industry.

A Large Taxpayer

New York State imposes a tax on insurance premiums. Premium taxes paid by insurance companies in New York totaled $1.5 billion in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. This is in addition to numerous other taxes, assessments and fees paid by insurance companies.

A Leading Investor

Insurance companies invest the premiums they collect in state and local municipal bonds, helping to fund the building of roads, schools and other public projects. They provide businesses with the capital for research, expansions and other ventures through their investments in corporate equities and bonds. Property and casualty insurers held more than $23.9 billion in New York State municipal bonds in 2015, according to A.M. Best.

Insuring New York’s Future

Although the insurance industry is an important employer, taxpayer and investor, providing insurance services is the industry’s most important contribution to the New York economy. Each year the insurance industry pays billions of dollars in insurance claims to New York State residents. In 2016, property and casualty insurance companies paid $26 billion in claims, including $8.6 billion in private passenger auto insurance claims, $2.2 billion in homeowners claims, $15 billion in commercial insurance and $3.6 billion in workers compensation claims, according to SNL Financial.

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