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In This List

Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades PartnerRe, subsidiaries

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades PartnerRe, subsidiaries

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

U.S. and Canada

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength ratings of A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a-" of Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. and MLM Risk Retention Group Inc. The outlook was revised to positive from stable.

The ratings reflect the companies' balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as their marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The revision of the outlook considers the insurers' improved operating performance resulting from the implementation of a number of initiatives tailored to decrease underwriting volatility and enhance rate adequacy.

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A.M. Best removed from under review with developing implications and affirmed the financial strength ratings of A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a-" of California Capital Insurance Co. and its subsidiaries Eagle West Insurance Co., Monterey Insurance Co. and Nevada Capital Insurance Co. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable.

The companies operate under an intercompany pooling arrangement.

The ratings reflect the companies' balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as their marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The affirmations consider explicit and implicit support from the companies' new parent, Auto-Owners Insurance Co. Inc.

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A.M. Best upgraded the long-term issuer credit rating to "a-" from "bbb+" of PartnerRe Ltd. The rating agency also upgraded the financial strength ratings to A+ from A and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "aa-" from "a+" of PartnerRe's operating subsidiaries. The outlook was revised to stable from positive.

The subsidiaries are Partner Reinsurance Co. Ltd., Partner Reinsurance Co. of the U.S., PartnerRe Ireland Insurance Designated Activity Co., Partner Reinsurance Europe SE, PartnerRe America Insurance Co., PartnerRe Life Reinsurance Co. of Canada and PartnerRe Life Reinsurance Co. of America.

The ratings reflect the companies' balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as their adequate operating performance, very favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The upgrades take into account PartnerRe and its subsidiaries' successful demonstration of their enterprise risk management functions and framework over the past several years.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the A- issuer default rating of W. R. Berkley Corp. and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of the insurer's property and casualty operating subsidiaries.

The subsidiaries are Acadia Insurance Co., Admiral Insurance Co., Berkley Insurance Co., Berkley National Insurance Co., Berkley Regional Insurance Co., Berkley Regional Specialty Insurance Co., Carolina Casualty Insurance Co., Continental Western Insurance Co., Firemen's Insurance Co. of Washington, D.C., Nautilus Insurance Co., Tri-State Insurance Co. of Minnesota, Union Insurance Co. and Union Standard Lloyds.

The affirmation considers W. R. Berkley's very strong long-term financial results with strong capitalization, moderate business profile with a diversified specialty underwriting portfolio and niche market positions in several lines, and modest exposure to catastrophe losses, according to Fitch.

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Kroll Bond Rating Agency affirmed the BBB- insurance financial strength rating of National Catholic Society of Foresters, a member-based fraternal organization. The outlook is stable.

The rating reflects the company's sound risk-adjusted capitalization, conservative investment portfolio, improved corporate governance and generally profitable operations, the rating agency said.

Europe

S&P Global Ratings affirmed the A- long-term insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings of U.K.-domiciled Unum Ltd.

The outlook is stable, taking into account that of the company's U.S.-based parent, Unum Group, as S&P Global Ratings considers that Unum Ltd.'s strategic importance to the group is unlikely to change.

Asia-Pacific

S&P Global Ratings affirmed the A- long-term issuer credit rating of QBE Insurance Group Ltd. and the A+ insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings of the group's core operating entities following a review of QBE group under a revised criteria. The rating agency also affirmed the ratings of the group operating entities with a group status of highly strategic.

The outlook is stable, reflecting S&P Global Ratings' forecast for a recovery in the company's underlying earnings, notwithstanding the fact that competitive headwinds pressure the group's North American business.

The affirmation considers QBE's collective strong competitive positions across a range of property and casualty lines and sound underlying earnings profile from its well-diversified global operations.

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed the BBB+ long-term and A-2 short-term issuer credit ratings of China Taiping Insurance Group (HK) Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. Ltd.

The outlook of China Taiping Insurance Group (HK) and China Taiping Insurance Holdings is stable, taking into account the rating agency's view of a high likelihood of extraordinary support from the Chinese government over the next two years.

The A long-term local currency insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings of the group's core operating subsidiaries, Taiping General Insurance Co. Ltd., China Taiping Insurance (HK) Co. Ltd. and Taiping Reinsurance Co. Ltd., were also affirmed.

The outlook of these subsidiaries is stable, reflecting the outlook of China Taiping Insurance Group (HK) and China Taiping Insurance Holdings.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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