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Insurance ratings actions, Oct. 4

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Insurance ratings actions, Oct. 4

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 affirmed the financial strength ratings of A+ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa-" of MetLife Inc.'s life and health affiliates Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., General American Life Insurance Co. and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Co.

A.M. Best has also affirmed the financial strength ratings of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" of MetLife's dental and vision subsidiaries SafeGuard Health Plans Inc. (CA), SafeGuard Health Plans Inc. a Florida Corp. and SafeGuard Health Plans Inc. a Texas Corp.

The rating agency further affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a+" of Delaware American Life Insurance Co., and the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of MetLife Global Benefits Ltd.

The rating agency also affirmed the financial strength ratings of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. and its subsidiaries Economy Fire & Casualty Co., Economy Preferred Insurance Co., Economy Premier Assurance Co., Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Co., Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Co., Metropolitan General Insurance Co., Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Co. and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Co. of Texas.

Additionally, the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of MetLife and its long- and short-term issue credit ratings have been affirmed.

The outlook is stable.

The affirmations reflect MetLife's industry-leading position in the group insurance market and its diversified geographic presence. A.M. Best believes that MetLife will benefit from a focused business strategy as the company has reduced its exposure to interest rate-sensitive and equity market-sensitive business lines with the spinoff of Brighthouse Financial Inc.

The ratings of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance and its subsidiaries recognize the companies' strong capitalization, a level of operating performance that exceeds the composite, a multiple-channel distribution network that includes MetLife's products and programs, and extensive market expertise, A.M. Best said.

Property and casualty

A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength ratings to A from A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "a" from "a-" of General Automobile Insurance Co. Inc., Permanent General Assurance Corp. and Permanent General Assurance Corp. of Ohio.

The outlook of these ratings has been revised to stable from positive.

These companies are subsidiaries of American Family Mutual Insurance Co. S.I.

These ratings reflect the role the companies play as members of the American Family Insurance Group, the rating agency said.

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A.M. Best has downgraded the financial strength rating to B++ from A- and the long-term issuer credit rating to "bbb+" from "a-" of Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Co.

The outlook has been revised to stable from negative.

A.M. Best said the downgrade of Chautauqua is based on the company's deteriorating underwriting and operating performance in recent years, largely impacted by weather-related losses, as well as an increase in the frequency and severity of fire and liability losses. Additionally, the company's pretax return on revenue and total return on surplus have diminished in recent years, the rating agency said.

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Fitch Ratings has affirmed CNA Financial Corp.'s senior unsecured debt at BBB and long-term issuer default rating at BBB+.

Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the insurer financial strength ratings at A of CNA Financial's property and casualty insurance subsidiaries American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pennsylvania; Columbia Casualty Co.; Continental Casualty Co.; Continental Insurance Co.; Continental Insurance Co. of New Jersey; National Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford; Surety Bonding Co. of America; Transportation Insurance Co.; Universal Surety of America; Valley Forge Insurance Co.; and Western Surety Co.

The outlook is stable.

Fitch's affirmation of CNA's ratings reflects the company's strong earnings, very strong capitalization, and a reserve position in ongoing property and casualty operations that the rating agency views as sufficient.

Fitch's ratings on CNA Financial and its subsidiaries are stand-alone ratings, the rating agency said.