Finance and insurance are among the top industries offering workers the most job security, with layoff and discharge rates of 0.5%, equivalent to about 31,000 jobs, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But while these figures seem low – especially if you consider that these are combined numbers from two separate sectors – the statistics actually represent a 0.2% uptick from the previous months, or about an 11,000 to 13,000 increase in the number of layoffs.
This means that although the insurance industry is considered to be among the most stable sectors, given the current business climate, it is also not immune to insurance layoffs.
Insurance Business lists down the most recent instances when insurance companies had to let go of workers due to economic reasons. The list includes some of the industry’s biggest names, which shows just how any business, regardless of scale, can be impacted by an economic downturn.
In a statement obtained by the news outlet, Prudential CEO Charles Lowrey said the insurance layoffs will affect senior vice-presidents and vice-presidents, reducing management positions within the company by a third.
“Unnecessary complexity slows us down and adds to our operating costs,” Lowrey said. “We have therefore embarked on a comprehensive effort to simplify our organizational design beginning with a significant reduction in the number of senior leaders.”
A layoff notice had not yet been filed with the labor department in New Jersey where Prudential is based. In July, the insurer filed a notice with the state that it would lay off 46 employees between September 15 and December 6 this year.
Hippo Insurance has released 120 employees, or 20% of its workforce, in its latest round of insurance layoffs. Affected staff were informed about the job cuts on October 26, 2023.
In its latest SEC filing obtained by Insurance Business, Hippo said that the insurance layoffs were part of a bid to “drive efficiency and increase focus on its strategic priorities.”
The job cuts follow the personal lines insurtech’s decision to halt all new business nationwide, beginning August 2023.
In September, Hippo announced its first round of layoffs, which impacted 70 employees, then 10% of its overall workforce.
CVS Health will slash an additional 70 corporate jobs this year, pushing the number of insurance layoffs within the company and its subsidiary Aetna to almost 600.
The health insurance giant disclosed the recent job cuts in a WARN document filed with the Connecticut state labor department this month.
Last August, CVS Health announced that it will laying off more than 500 employees in its Aetna unit. The insurer also revealed at the beginning of the year that it will be letting go of 5,000 workers across the US.
P&C giant Liberty Mutual is set to let go of around 850 workers, or roughly 2% of its US workforce, by the end of the year. The insurance layoffs will affect employees in the company’s US retail markets, global risk solutions, technology, and other corporate units.
The job cuts were a “part of a company transformation initiative,” Liberty Mutual said in a statement about the insurance layoffs sent to Insurance Business.
“We have made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 850 positions, nearly all in the US, across several functions this month, many of which are effective by the end of the year,” the insurer disclosed.
“Impacted employees will be eligible for severance and outplacement assistance and are encouraged to apply for other positions within the organization.”
Iowa-based P&C insurer United Fire Group (UFG), one of the largest employers in Cedar Rapids, has announced that it would be laying off 40 employees. A WARN document posted on the Iowa labor department’s website shows that 28 of the affected workers reside in the state.
In a statement, the insurer said that the job cuts were “due to a lack of business need” as the company underwent reorganization “to better support the company’s business objectives and ongoing digital transformation.”
“We regret the hardship this decision has on our former team members and thank those impacted for their valuable contributions during their time with the company,” the firm added. “UFG is fully committed to supporting these employees through this transition, including pay with benefits through the end of the year as well as outplacement services.”
UFG has more than 1,000 employees across six states.
Texas-based insurer Germania Insurance has announced that it would be releasing 35 employees, equivalent to 7% of its workforce.
The company cited challenges from extreme weather volatility, inflation, the rising cost of claims, and increased reinsurance costs as the main reasons for the decision.
The insurance layoffs affected employees across all categories and at all levels, according to the firm’s media release sent to Insurance Business. All affected workers were notified directly, and provided severance packages based on salary, position, and years of service.
“While we have taken extensive actions to strengthen Germania’s financial position, these actions will take time to manifest,” explained Brandon Keller, Germania Insurance’s president and CEO. “The workforce reduction is part of our ongoing goal to enhance our operational efficiency and reduce overall expenses to strengthen Germania long term.”
Chief executive Tom Combs has announced that GEICO would be laying off around 6% of its workforce, in a company-wide email obtained by Insurance Business. The latest job cuts will affect about 2,000 employees.
In the letter, Combs wrote that rising costs resulting from “levels of inflation that we haven't seen in decades,” contributed to the decision.
Combs pledged that the Berkshire Hathaway-owned firm would offer career transition assistance to employees affected by the insurance layoffs. These include career coaching sessions, resume update assistance, on-demand interviewing and networking and suggestions on social media presence enhancing.
The impacted workers will also retain access to the insurer’s Workday platform, which will allow them to apply for job vacancies within the company.
“This very difficult decision was not taken lightly,” Combs wrote. “We recognize we’re saying goodbye to beloved colleagues and friends, and as a leadership team we are committed to supporting those affected in the days ahead.”
An Ontario employment law firm has reported a recent spike in All State Canada employees reaching out to them claiming to have been let go as part of “sweeping changes.”
Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has told Insurance Business that the Allstate Canada insurance layoffs are part of restructuring.
“Samfiru Tumarkin LLP is assisting an increasing number of Allstate employees in Ontario, who believe they’re caught in a sweeping layoff and restructuring wave at the company,” said Lior Samfiru, co-founding partner at Samfiru Tumarkin. “Our team is carefully reviewing their severance offers before they are signed back to ensure that every crucial factor is addressed, including the consideration of enhanced compensation due to challenging economic conditions.”
Allstate Canada has yet to respond to Insurance Business’ request for comment.
American Family Insurance, also known as AmFam, has confirmed that it has laid off employees across its companies across the US. The job cuts include leadership level staff.
“We have been continuously working to increase efficiency and manage costs to enhance our customer’s experience by bringing together areas that provide similar functions across our companies,” the insurer said in an email statement obtained by this news outlet.
“These increased efficiencies allow us to reinvest in products and services and deliver strong value to customers. These efforts have had some impact on positions, including at leadership levels, across our companies nationally. Impacted employees are treated with care and respect, including through financial and outplacement support.”
AmFam didn’t disclose how many employees or what positions were affected.
Affected employees have turned to professional networking site LinkedIn to reveal an unspecified number of job cuts from the health insurance giant Elevance Health and its subsidiaries.
Most of the posts were dated between September and October, with some workers saying they were let go as part of a “reduction in force” or “as a result of a restructuring.”
Elevance Health, formerly known as Anthem, confirmed that it had made “adjustments” to its workforce. The insurer didn’t specify how many of its 100,000 employees were impacted by the insurance layoffs. It also hasn’t filed any WARN document in the Department of Labor in Indiana, where it is based.
California-based Cowbell, which specializes in cyber insurance for SMEs, has let go of 28 employees, which is equivalent to 12% of its workforce.
In a statement, CEO Jack Kudale described the job cuts as “an extremely difficult call to make” and “a last resort.” He added that “a prolonged softer market cycle coupled with a rise in fixed costs” has forced the company to evaluate its organizational structure and cost base, resulting in the layoffs.
The affected employees will receive a comprehensive severance package and outplacement assistance.
Centene, the largest Medicaid managed-care company in the US, has announced that it is laying off around 2,000 employees, or approximately 3% of its workforce.
In a statement obtained by Fierce Healthcare, the Missouri-based health insurer said the job cuts are aimed at “rightsizing our cost structure.”
The company added that the affected employees are set to receive severance packages and “outplacement services.” Their last day of employment is on December 8.
At the time of this posting, a WARN notice from Centene hasn’t been made publicly available on the Missouri Department of Labor & Employment’s website.
Farmers Insurance has announced that it will be cutting 2,400 jobs or about 11% of its workforce as part of the insurer’s corporate restructuring, Insurance Business has confirmed. The move is aimed at “increasing efficiency and long-term profitability” of the California-based insurer.
The layoffs will affect all lines of business, with August 28 as the last working day for most of the impacted employees.
In a statement, CEO Raul Vargas referred to “existing conditions” in the insurance industry as the primary reason for the job cuts.
Vargas said that Farmers has been implementing a new strategy to simplify its systems and introduce new approaches to support the success of its employees and agents. He added that plans were in place to provide additional support to its exclusive and independent agents through improved systems, tools, and data.
Farmers has recently drawn flak after announcing that it would not be renewing tens of thousands of policies in Georgia. The insurer was forced to backtrack when the state’s insurance regulator said the non-renewals were “a blatant violation of Georgia law.”
The company also previously announced its exit from Florida.
Some employees of insurance company GEICO have gone to social media to report another tranche of layoffs, Insurance Business has confirmed.
Several staff members at the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary have revealed on professional networking site LinkedIn that they were included in mass layoffs the week before. Impacted workers appear to have come from a range of departments, including customer support, marketing, investigations, and IT.
The layoffs are the latest in a string of job cuts from the insurer. Last year, GEICO closed down all of its California agent offices, resulting in hundreds of job losses. In October, the company also laid off a large part of its marketing department.
CVS Health has started issuing layoff notices at its Hartford-based subsidiary Aetna. This follows the company’s announcement at the beginning of the month that it would be cutting 5,000 jobs nationwide. The figure accounts for about 2% of the firm’s overall workforce of more than 300,000.
In a written notice filed with the Connecticut Department of Labor dated August 18, the insurance giant confirmed that it would be slashing 521 jobs, including about 200 remote positions, at Aetna starting in October. CVS Health announced beforehand that the job cuts would affect mainly corporate positions.
CVS Health acquired Aetna in 2018 for about $70 billion, making the company one of the largest insurance employers in the state.
Insurance marketplace EverQuote has announced plans to exit the health insurance market effective June 30. The business unit primarily served the Medicare and under-65 health insurance market and accounted for about a tenth of the firm’s revenue for the 2022 financial year.
The move was part of EverQuote’s plans to streamline its business and slash annual non-marketing expenses by more than 15%. In connection with this, the company also started the implementation of a workforce reduction plan, resulting in aggregate severance charges of between $2 million and $3 million, which would be reflected in its second quarter financial report.
Friday Health Plans marked the end of its business by laying off all 323 employees, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) document submitted to the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment. The layoffs occurred between June 23 and July 6.
The Alamosa-based health insurer announced that it would cease operations on June 1. Apart from Colorado, the firm offered ACA exchange plans in Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Regulators in these five states have taken various measures to address the issue, including taking over the company’s assets and halting new memberships.
On June 21, Colorado’s Division of Insurance announced that it had taken over Friday’s operations in the state and would implement steps to ensure that policyholders’ coverage could continue until the end of the year.
State regulators have also notified plan members in Georgia and North Carolina that their coverage would end on July 31 and August 31, respectively, and that they could access new coverage through a special enrollment period.
Branch Insurance, through a LinkedIn post by co-founder and chief executive officer Steve Lekas, has announced that the insurtech unicorn has let go of an undisclosed number of employees. The CEO cited “ongoing challenges” that the insurance industry and the company were facing as the reason behind the layoffs.
In a company-wide email announcing the workforce reduction posted on Medium, Lekas explained that “persistent inflation,” which has posed a huge challenge in the entire industry, was one of the main drivers for the decision. Another reason is that Branch Insurance, which reached a market valuation of $1.05 billion after a $147 million Series C funding in 2022, has grown faster than its loss ratio.
In his email, Lekas said that the branch has offered the following support for departing employees:
Brentwood-based Fortitude Life and Annuity Solutions has filed a WARN document with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, informing the agency of permanent layoffs involving 200 employees.
According to the official document dated June 2, the company would start reducing its workforce on July 31, with further layoffs expected on September 30 and December 31. The affected staff are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement.
Fortitude Life and Annuity Solutions is a subsidiary of Bermuda-based reinsurance firm Fortitude Re.
Haven Technologies, a MassMutual-owned insurtech firm, has filed a WARN document, announcing that it was slashing about 70% of its workforce or around 280 employees. The filing showed the reason for the layoffs as “economic.” The workforce reduction, however, did not affect the Haven Life business, which sells life insurance.
Insurtech firm Pie Insurance announced recently that it was cutting its workforce by 14%, which affected 66 staff. In his letter to employees dated May 18, CEO John Swigart cited the decline in the current funding environment as the primary reason for the insurance layoffs and the move was necessary for the company to maintain profitability.
The layoffs were part of a wider budget revision process that Pie Insurance has taken in previous months. Swigart added that while they already identified more than $25 million in expenses that can be removed from the firm’s budget, a workforce reduction was needed to achieve its profitability targets.
All departments within the organization were affected, with Swigart noting that the decisions were based on the roles required to achieve the company’s goals and not because of individual impact or performance.
Pie Insurance provides workers’ compensation insurance to small businesses in 38 states and the District of Columbia, where it is based.
Asurion LLC, a company that offers device insurance and warranty and support services for consumer electronics and home appliances, has reduced its Nashville workforce by 60 in May. The company also announced that it was selling almost 100 retail stores to franchisees and closing another 24 stores nationwide. This will reduce its number of stores to 730 throughout North America.
Asurion cited that the moves were in line with its goal to invest more resources in its home portfolio, which played a key role in its “strong year-over-year growth.”
Asurion is considered among Greater Nashville’s largest private companies by revenue, although its overall figure dipped 18% to $8.4 billion in its latest financials. This was also the smallest revenue it has registered since 2017.
USAA said in May that it was planning to eliminate 300 positions nationwide in another round of insurance layoffs, bringing this year’s total to nearly 800 retrenched employees. This comes as the specialist insurer reported its first annual loss in a century.
The company – which provides a range of insurance policies exclusively to members of the US military, veterans, and their families – had already dismissed 475 employees in March. A spokesperson for the company said the insurance layoffs were needed because of “shifting business needs.”
In its latest financial report, USAA revealed a $1.3 billion net loss, marking a significant dip from the $3.3 billion in profit it achieved the previous year. This also represented the insurer’s first loss since it was established in 1923.
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Humana, one of the largest health insurance providers in the US, has laid off more than 1,160 employees in New York and Florida, following its decision to shut down all its SeniorBridge home care facilities across the country. The bulk of those affected by the insurance layoffs are workers from New York, numbering about 1,005. The rest is staff from Florida.
Humana purchased SeniorBridge in 2012 to manage chronic and home care services for seniors. Apart from New York and Florida, SeniorBridge operated in Arizona, Connecticut, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.
In February, the health insurance giant also announced plans to exit the Employer Group Commercial Medical Products business. This includes all fully insured, self-funded, and Federal Employee Health Benefit medical plans, as well as the company’s associated wellness and rewards programs. Humana noted that the exit will be conducted in a “phased manner” in the next 18 to 24 months, adding that the move was part of the firm’s shift to government-funded programs and specialty businesses.
Here’s a list of other prominent insurance layoffs that happened in the past year.
When insurance layoffs happen, this can have significant ramifications for businesses in the industry. Here are some of the major impacts.
Although some may think that employees who survive layoffs have added motivation to work harder to prove their value and secure their position within the company, this is not how it typically plays out.
A recent survey of staff who kept their jobs amidst a company layoff revealed that almost three-fourths of respondents admitted to seeing their productivity drop after a layoff, while a third saw colleagues’ productivity also decline. An overwhelming 87%, meanwhile, said that they would be unlikely to recommend their organization to others looking for work.
The same survey also found that more than 80% of those who survived layoffs have seen a decrease in the quality of customer service. Around 77% also admitted that they saw more mistakes being committed by employees. These can result in the potential loss of clients, especially in a fiercely competitive industry like insurance.
After insurance layoffs, employees may be obligated to pick up responsibilities and projects left behind by retrenched colleagues. This sudden increase in workload, however, can leave staff feeling ill-prepared and overwhelmed, leading to a drop in performance.
The situation can also impact the mental health and wellbeing of workers, with some ending up feeling resentful and burned out.
Even amidst a constantly changing economic environment, insurance remains among the most stable sector for workers based on data gathered by the BLS. However, no matter how seemingly secure an industry is, layoffs can still happen. Here are some of the reasons why insurance layoffs occur.
If you had been laid off from work, the good news is that the insurance industry offers a myriad of employment opportunities. Our guide to the best websites for searching insurance jobs can help you find the role that fits your skills and experience.
Layoffs are never a pleasant experience, even for those left behind. While slashing workforces may be necessary in certain instances for businesses to stay profitable, companies should not ignore the needs of the staff who remain. Here are some steps insurers can take to support those who survive insurance layoffs.
Insurance layoffs are often done to improve the financial situation of a company. But if not handled correctly, insurers may find themselves in a worse financial position than before. The best insurance companies to work for know exactly how to deal with difficult situations. Find out which insurers made our list by clicking the link.
The top insurance employers understand what it takes to make each workday both challenging and fulfilling. A positive work culture, an engaged workforce, and competitive compensation are some of the factors that you must consider when looking for an insurance company to work for.
These are the types of insurers you can find on our Best in Insurance Special Reports page. Here, we feature only the best insurance companies across the US. These firms are nominated by their peers and vetted by our panel of insurance experts as respected industry leaders. This page is the place to go if you’re on the lookout for an insurance employer that shares your values and paves the way for your professional development.
Read more about the 10 best insurance employers to work for in the US in this article.
What do you think of the recent insurance layoffs? How much impact do the layoffs have in the industry? Share your comments below.