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Insurance ratings actions, April 12

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Insurance ratings actions, April 12

S&P Global Market Intelligencecompiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5:30 p.m. ET. Actionsafter 5:30 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

Life and health

FitchRatings affirmedthe AA+ insurer financial strength ratings of Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America and its wholly ownedsubsidiaries, Guardian Insurance &Annuity Co. Inc. and BerkshireLife Insurance Co. of America.

Fitchalso affirmed the long-term issuer default rating of Guardian Life.

The outlookis stable.

Fitchsaid Guardian Life's ratings reflect its favorable operating profile, very strongrisk-based capitalization, low operating leverage, high-quality investments andimproving operating results. The ratings on Guardian Insurance and Berkshire Lifeare based on Fitch's view that these entities are core operating companies withinthe organization.

Fitchaffirmedthe A- long-term issuer default rating of ReinsuranceGroup of America Inc. and the A+ insurer financial strength rating ofRGA Reinsurance Co.

The outlookis stable.

Fitchsaid the ratings of Reinsurance Group reflect its strong market position as thelargest provider of individual and group life reinsurance in North America and asone of the leading life and health reinsurers in the world. The ratings also reflectthe company's solid long-term financial performance and earnings, adequate risk-adjustedcapitalization, and ample liquidity. Reinsurance Group's ratings also consider operatingchallenges in its core traditional life reinsurance business in the U.S., whichhas been subject to competitive pricing and declining cession rates.


A.M.Best upgraded the financialstrength rating to A from A- and the issuer credit rating to "a" from"a-" of Conemaugh ValleyMutual Insurance Co.

The ratingagency also affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the issuer credit ratingof "a" of Allegany Co-opInsurance Co.

The outlookfor each rating is stable.

Accordingto A.M. Best, the upgrade reflects Conemaugh Valley's affiliation with AlleganyCo-op through a quota-share agreement, along with being fully integrated into AlleganyCo-op's operations. The ratings of both companies are based on their strong risk-adjustedcapitalization, continued surplus growth, and favorable underwriting and operatingperformance, the rating agency said.

A.M.Best placedunder review with positive implications the B++ financial strength ratings and "bbb"issuer credit ratings of Lexon InsuranceCo. and its affiliate, BondSafeguard Insurance Co.

Lexonand Bond Safeguard are wholly owned operating subsidiaries of Lexon Surety Group LLC.

A.M.Best said the actions follow the announcement that Ironshore Inc. agreed to acquire the remaining 80% interest in Lexon Surety Groupand its affiliated surety agency operations that it does not already own in an all-cashtransaction. Ironshore's initial 9.9% purchase of Lexon Surety Group in April 2013was followed by the purchase of an additional 10.1% equity interest in June 2014.

The underreview with positive implications status of Lexon and Bond Safeguard reflects thefinancial and operational benefits that both companies should derive from beingacquired by a larger, higher-rated organization.

The ratingsof Lexon and Bond Safeguard will remain under review until the close of the transactionand a review by A.M. Best of the post-transaction details.

A.M.Best revisedthe issuer credit ratings outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the B++ financialstrength ratings and "bbb" issuer credit ratings for the members of theVirginia Farm Bureau Group: VirginiaFarm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. and its wholly owned subsidiaries,Virginia Farm Bureau Fire and CasualtyInsurance Co., VirginiaFarm Bureau Town and Country Insurance Co. and Countryway Insurance Co.

The outlookfor the financial strength rating remains stable.

A.M.Best said the revised outlook reflects Virginia Farm Bureau's improved underwritingresults and surplus appreciation over the past three years. The positive outlookreflects A.M. Best's opinion that favorable operating results and improvements inrisk-adjusted capitalization will continue.