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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best affirms Protective Life, Third Point Re

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

Life and health

A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating to "a" from "a-" of Protective Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

The rating agency has also affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" and the existing long-term issuer credit ratings of Protective Life Corp.

Additionally, A.M. Best has also affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa-" of the primary life insurance subsidiaries of Protective Life.

The outlook on these ratings is stable.

A.M. Best said the ratings of Protective Property & Casualty Insurance reflect its very strong balance sheet strength, solid operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings of Protective Property & Casualty Insurance were upgraded based on a consistent record of strong profitable results. The ratings are also reflective of the rating lift from the lead rating unit, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc., the rating agency said.

The ratings of Protective Life and its life subsidiaries continue to reflect its strong risk-adjusted capitalization, diversified and generally favorable operating results, along with manageable dividend requirements, the rating agency added.

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A.M. Best has revised the outlook to positive from stable for the long-term issuer credit rating and affirmed the financial strength rating of B (Fair) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bb" of Landmark Life Insurance Co.

The outlook for the financial strength rating remains stable.

The ratings reflect Landmark Life's strong balance sheet strength, its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and weak enterprise risk management, A.M. Best said.

Property and casualty

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a-" of Third Point Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and Third Point Reinsurance (USA) Ltd.

The rating agency also affirmed the long-term issuer credit ratings of "bbb-" of Third Point Re (USA) Holdings Inc. and its ultimate parent, Third Point Reinsurance Ltd.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

A.M. Best said the ratings reflect Third Point Re's very strong balance sheet strength, its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Southern Trust Insurance Co.

The ratings reflect Southern Trust's very strong balance sheet strength, its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. Meanwhile, the negative outlooks reflect increasing underwriting leverage as premium growth continues to outpace surplus growth, as well as ongoing adverse loss reserve development, the rating agency said.

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A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aaa" of the United Services Automobile Association and its property and casualty and life and health subsidiaries.

The units are USAA Casualty Insurance Co., USAA General Indemnity Co., USAA Ltd., USAA County Mutual Insurance Co., USAA Life Insurance Co., USAA Life Insurance Co. of New York and USAA Capital Corp.

The outlook is stable.

The ratings reflect United Services Automobile Association's strongest balance sheet strength, as well as its very strong operating performance. It also reflects the company's very favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management, according to A.M. Best.

The ratings of USAA Life Insurance and its subsidiary, USAA Life Insurance Co. of New York reflect their strongest balance sheet strength, their strong operating performance, favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management, the rating agency added.

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A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of the members of NORCAL Group.

The affected members are NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co., NORCAL Specialty Insurance Co., Medicus Insurance Co., FD Insurance Co. and Preferred Physicians Medical Risk Retention Group, a Mutual Insurance Co.

A.M. Best said the ratings reflect the group's strongest balance sheet strength, its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The revised outlooks are attributed to the reversal of a negative trend in underwriting and operating performance that developed earlier in the current five-year period, and A.M. Best's expectation that management's underwriting and claims initiatives will result in sustained improvement in underwriting and operating results, the rating agency added.

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