Auto-Owners had much to be proud of in 2022. Our associates continued to provide excellent service to agents and to our policyholders during our transition out of the pandemic.
We experienced our largest-ever annual increase in premium of nearly $944 million. We were fortunate to receive over $1.3 billion in new business from the many outstanding independent agents who represent us. This was split fairly evenly between personal and commercial lines.
In-force policy count grew by nearly 165,000, bringing the total number of policies in force to just under 5.6 million.
While we experienced very positive growth, weather and inflation played a significant role in our activity and financial results for the year. These headwinds led to our first unprofitable year in 11 years. The underwriting loss, along with a down stock market, caused a decline in our policyholder surplus of approximately $575 million. Still, we remain financially rock-solid with over $14.7 billion in policyholder surplus. We continue to have the capacity needed to support all of the good business the agents have to place with us in 2023, and for years to come. Auto-Owners Life Insurance Company had another excellent year as well.
Auto-Owners was once again recognized by AM Best for our solid performance and financial strength. Our A++ (Superior) rating was reaffirmed, making it 51 consecutive years we have received the highest available rating given by AM Best.
All three of our affiliates enjoyed another outstanding year of profitable growth: Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company (our excess and surplus lines subsidiary), Concord General Mutual (our affiliate operating in the four northern-most New England states), and Capital Insurance Group (our subsidiary in the five Western states).
We remain dedicated to the independent agency system. Our hardworking associates are committed to providing the service our independent agency partners and our policyholders expect and deserve.