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Moody's upgrades CNO Financial, subsidiaries after reinsurance deal close

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Moody's upgrades CNO Financial, subsidiaries after reinsurance deal close

Moody's upgraded the long-term corporate family rating of Carmel, Ind.-based CNO Financial Group Inc. to Baa3 from Ba1 and the insurance financial strength ratings of its primary U.S. operating subsidiaries to A3 from Baa1.

The subsidiaries are Bankers Life and Casualty Co., Colonial Penn Life Insurance Co. and Washington National Insurance Co. The outlook is stable.

Moody's subsequently withdrew CNO Financial's corporate family rating as such ratings are not normally assigned at an investment grade level.

The actions were taken after the company completed its long-term care reinsurance transaction with Wilton Reassurance Co. Under the transaction, Bankers Life ceded all of its legacy comprehensive and nursing home long-term care policies to Wilton Re through 100% indemnity coinsurance.

Moody's said the transaction is credit positive for CNO Financial as the company has been planning to make an exit for a "material portion" of its runoff legacy long-term care business. The agency also said the agreement improves the company's capital adequacy in a severe stress scenario, reduces organizational complexity and lowers tail risk.