2014 year in review - text in letterpress wood type on a digitalFive of the top Carrier Management news stories in 2014 ranked everything from insurance industry jobs to the companies themselves, in different iterations. The common link: there’s huge interest in how the industry is growing and how rivals are faring against each other.

The most-read news story of the year looked at the top 200 careers in business overall, and where insurance industry positions ranked within the larger list. While the job of actuary placed high, agents and underwriters ranked quite low.

Another well-read story, by a long shot, rated the top 10 P/C carriers through the eyes of insurance agents. A third tallied the fastest growing excess and surplus lines carriers. A.M. Best also ranked the top 25 non-life insurers, and that story drew a tremendous amount of reader response. Ward Group calculated the 50 top-performing property/casualty insurers, a roundup that also attracted plenty of interest.

Rankings weren’t the only thing that mattered, of course. QBE’s struggles with its U.S. mid-market business became a major story in 2014, as was the company’s decision to ultimately keep the line. New trends, such as Overstock.com’s decision to start offering insurance online, also greatly mattered to the industry.

CEO lifestyles were important, too, as well as what two leaders of the world’s most influential companies were reading over the summer.

Our top 10 most-read stories of 2014 are listed below:

1. Actuary is No. 2 on Top 200 Job List; Agents, Underwriters Rank Low
2. The Results are in: Agents Rate the Top 10 P/C Carriers
3. QBE 2013 Loss As Expected; U.S. Mid-Market Biz Under Microscope: CEO
4. Fastest Growing E&S Carriers in Top 30 Revealed: Fitch Report
5. Top 25 Non-Life Reinsurers: A.M. Best Ranking
6. QBE CEO Neal: We’ll Keep U.S. Middle Market Biz
7. Shopping Site Overstock.com Offering Insurance Online
8. Summer Reading: A Recommendation from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
9. CEO Plane Crash Death Raises Questions about Brutal Executive Travel Schedules
10. Eight New Companies Join Ward’s Annual Top 50 P/C Ranking