XL Group ( XL) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, XL Group rose 11 cents (0.5%) to $21.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.2 million shares of XL Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.02-$21.50 after having opened the day at $21.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.22. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: United Fire Group ( UFCS), up 7.4%, Kemper ( KMPR), up 6.5%, Kingstone Companies ( KINS), up 5.9%, and Citizens ( CIA), up 5.8%.

XL Group plc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and reinsurance coverages to industrial, commercial, and professional firms, as well as insurance companies and other enterprises worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Insurance, Reinsurance, and Life Operations. XL Group has a market cap of $6.67 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate XL Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates XL Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

On the negative front, Kingsway Financial Services ( KFS), down 6.3%, ING Groep N.V ( ING), down 5%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), down 3.8%, and Life Partners Holdings ( LPHI), down 3.3%, were all losers within the insurance industry with Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) being today's insurance industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).