While the number of overall insurers included in the Fortune 500 diminished slightly yet again—from 49 in 2010 to 47 last year to 46 this year—Nationwide provided insurers with one more top-100 slot by moving up 27 spots.

Berkshire Hathaway earned the top spot among insurers, being placed seventh overall for the second year in a row.

Fortune categorizes all companies in the list, including five categories for insurers: Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care; Insurance: Life, Health (mutual); Insurance: Life, Health (stock); Insurance: Property and Casualty (mutual); and Insurance: Property and Casualty (stock).

The first and last categories listed above — Health Care and P&C (stock) — received the most attention; each had four companies in the top 100, while the former placed 11 companies overall and the latter 15.

For the Health Care category, UnitedHealth Group ranked the highest at 22, followed by WellPoint (45), Humana (79), Aetna (89) and Cigna (130). UnitedHealth Group also ranked second overall among insurers, as AIG dropped from 17 to 33 this year, good enough for third overall and second in the P&C (stock) category behind Berkshire Hathaway. That category also placed Liberty Mutual (84), Allstate (93), Travelers (112), The Hartford (131), USAA (144), Progressive (169), Loews (190) and Chubb (202) in the top-half of the full list.

The P&C (mutual) category placed three insurers overall—State Farm (43), Nationwide (100) and Auto-Owners (429).

Topping the life/health categories were, on the stock side, MetLife (34), followed by Prudential (55), Aflac (128), and on the mutual side, New York Life (86), TIAA-CREF (88), Northwestern Mutual (116) and MassMutual, who dropped 20 spots from last year to 121.

Aflac was also ranked in Fortune’s list of best employers at 77, making itself and USAA, who was ranked 20 among best employers, the only insurers to make both lists.

American Financial Group and Universal American dropped out of the list this year, after placing 489 and 401 in 2011, respectively.

Below is the full list of 46 insurers included in 2012’s Fortune 500 List, with last year’s rankings in parentheses:

7. Berkshire Hathaway (7)

22. UnitedHealth Group (22)

33. AIG (17)

34. MetLife (46)

43. State Farm (37)

45. WellPoint (42)

55. Prudential (64)

79. Humana (79)

84. Liberty Mutual (82)

86. New York Life (71)

88. TIAA-CREF (87)

89. Aetna (77)

93. Allstate (89)

100. Nationwide (127)

112. Travelers (106)

116. Northwestern Mutual (112)

121. MassMutual Life Insurance (101)

128. Aflac (125)

130. Cigna (122)

131. Hartford Financial Services Group (117)

144. USAA (145)

169. Progressive (164)

190. Loews (168)

202. Chubb (185)

219. Coventry Health Care (212)

221. Health Net (179)

247. Lincoln Financial (235)

250. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America (245)

258. Genworth Financial (243)

260. Unum Group (239)

289. Reinsurance Group of America (290)

295. Principal Financial (268)

310. Assurant (285)

332. Thrivent Financial (318)

382. American Family Insurance Group (358)

385. Amerigroup (396)

401. WellCare Health Plans (420)

411. Mutual of Omaha Insurance (399)

420. Pacific Life (405)

429. Auto-Owners Insurance (425)

453. Centene (493)

471. W.R. Berkley (475)

472. Fidelity National Financial (398)

482. Western & Southern Financial Group (456)

497. Erie Insurance Group (461)

500. Molina Healthcare (—)

Justin Stephani is the associate editor of Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.

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