Nailing its colours to the
mast, Symetra Life Insurance Company has declared its intention to
“significantly” expand its presence in the US group life insurance
market.

Symetra intends to drive
long-term growth in the group life market by expanding in-house
underwriting, claims and actuarial expertise, and investing in
field sales support.

“We see terrific growth
potential for group life insurance in the underserved mid-sized
employer market,” said Symetra CEO Tom Marra.

“This business is a natural
extension of the employee benefits products we already offer, and
it builds on our individual life insurance capability.

“With a renewed focus on
group life, we want to create an even stronger employee benefits
franchise and further diversify our product mix.”

Symetra, which ranks among
the top 40 US life insurers, is also active in the employee
benefits, annuities and individual life insurance
sectors.

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By GlobalData

Symetra was also ranked as
the market leader in medical stop-loss insurance by ratings agency
Standard & Poor’s back in 2009.

Medical stop-loss insurance
is a form of reinsurance for self-insured employers that limits the
amount they will have to pay for each employee’s health care or
total company health care expenses.

Established in 1957 as Safeco
Life and Investments (SLI), Symetra made history of a sort in
January 2010 when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange to
become the first US life insurers to execute an initial public
offer since (IPO) 2004.

The Bellevue, Washington
state-headquartered insurer raised new capital of $248m in the
IPO.

A significant aspect of the
IPO was the decision by the companies which led the investor group
that acquired SLI in 2004 – Berkshire Hathaway and US general
insurer and reinsurer White Mountains Insurance Group – to retain
their stakes.

In the first nine months of
2010, Symetra reported a net profit of $138.7m, up 44.2% compared
with the first nine months of 2009, while premium income reflected
a marginal 0.5% increase to $354.7m.

Total revenue increased by 4% to $1.184bn.