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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best affirms UnitedHealth Group

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 revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Wooster, Ohio-based Wayne Mutual Insurance Co.

The ratings of Wayne Mutual reflect its very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The positive outlooks reflect the company's improving balance sheet strength as demonstrated by consistent surplus growth that is driven by strong underwriting income and augmented by a steady stream of net investment and other income.

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A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of A+ and a long-term issuer credit rating of "aa-" to New York-based MLMIC Insurance Co.

The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect MLMIC's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also benefit from the financial support provided by MLMIC's direct parent company, National Indemnity Co., which is ultimately owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of A and a long-term issuer credit rating of "a+" to Vermeer Reinsurance Ltd.

The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable. The ratings reflect Vermeer's very strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and very strong enterprise risk management.

Vermeer is a joint venture between RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM to provide new capacity predominantly for risk-remote layers in the U.S. property catastrophe market.

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A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. and the financial strength ratings of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" for the majority of its UnitedHealthcare insurance subsidiaries.

In addition, A.M. Best upgraded the long-term issuer credit rating to "a+" from "a" and affirmed the financial strength rating of A for Dental Benefit Providers of California Inc., Nevada Pacific Dental and National Pacific Dental Inc. The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect UnitedHealthcare's strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Bermuda-based NEWGT Reinsurance Co. Ltd.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect NEWGT's strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the insurer financial strength ratings of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co. at AAA.

Fitch also affirmed Northwestern Mutual's long-term issuer default rating at AA+. The outlook is stable.

The agency noted Northwestern Mutual's exceptionally strong capitalization, leading competitive position in the U.S. individual life insurance market and conservative liability profile.

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S&P Global Ratings placed its B- long-term issuer credit ratings on New York-based international insurance brokerage and risk management firm, Integro Parent Inc. and Integro Group Holdings LP, on CreditWatch with positive implications.

The action came following Epic's announcement that it has agreed to acquire Integro's U.S. operations.

Europe

Fitch withdrew Axa Art Insurance SE's AA- insurer financial strength rating as the entity no longer exists following its merger with another entity in the Axa group.

The outlook was stable prior to withdrawal.

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Fitch affirmed with stable outlooks Germany-based Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG's and Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG's insurer financial strength ratings at A and long-term issuer default ratings at A-.

The companies' ratings were withdrawn for commercial reasons.

The affirmation was based on the companies' strong and resilient capitalization, strong financial performance and well-diversified business mix, Fitch said.

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S&P withdrew all its ratings on Netherlands-based HDI-Gerling Verzekeringen NV at the request of its parent, Talanx Primary Group.

The company was evaluated as highly strategic to its parent, with long-term issuer credit and financial strength ratings of A, at the time of withdrawal. The outlook on the ratings was stable.

Middle East and Africa

S&P revised its outlook on Qatar-based Doha Bank Assurance Co. LLC to stable from negative, and affirmed the BBB long-term insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings on the company.

The outlook revision follows a similar action on the company's parent.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this feature can be found here, here and here.

Links are current as of publication time; S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.