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Insurance ratings actions, July 8

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

Life and health

A.M.Best revisedthe issuer credit rating outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the B++ financialstrength rating and "bbb" issuer credit rating of Great Western Insurance Co.

The outlookfor the financial strength rating remains stable.

A.M.Best said the revised issuer credit rating outlook reflects favorable operatingand premium trends due to growth in the company's primary preneed business segment,along with asset growth and expansion of investment margins within its recentlyestablished group annuity funding agreement segment. The ratings also acknowledgesynergies between Great Western's preneed segment and its ultimate parent's funeralhome business with an experienced management team that has a deep understandingof the funeral and insurance market segment.


FitchRatings affirmedthe AA- long-term issuer default rating of Western& Southern Financial Group Inc. and the AA insurer financial strengthratings of its wholly owned life insurance subsidiaries.

The affectedunits are Western & Southern LifeInsurance Co., Western-SouthernLife Assurance Co., ColumbusLife Insurance Co., IntegrityLife Insurance Co., NationalIntegrity Life Insurance Co. and Lafayette Life Insurance Co.

The outlookis stable.

Fitchsaid the affirmation of Western & Southern Financial Group's ratings reflectsthe company's extremely strong risk-adjusted capitalization, low financial leverage,extremely strong debt servicing capabilities and stable operating performance. Theratings also reflect the risks associated with the company's interest-sensitiveproduct profile and relatively high allocation to equity securities.


Managed care

A.M.Best upgradedthe financial strength ratings to A from A- and the issuer credit ratings to "a"from "a-" of Delta Dentalof California and its affiliate, Delta Dental Insurance Co.

The outlookfor each of these ratings was revised to stable from positive.

The ratingagency also upgraded the financial strength rating to A from B++ and the issuercredit ratings to "a" from "bbb" of Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and its affiliate,

The outlookfor each of these ratings remains stable.

The fourcompanies, together with their affiliates, form a dental benefit system ultimatelycontrolled by Dentegra Group Inc.

A.M.Best said the ratings actions on the four companies reflect improved capitalization,an economic shift to a higher level of earnings and the execution of business expansionstrategies.


Property and casualty

A.M.Best downgradedthe financial strength rating to B++ from A- and the issuer credit ratings to "bbb+"from "a-" of National Fireand Indemnity Exchange.

The outlookfor the financial strength rating has been revised to stable from negative, whilethe outlook for the issuer credit rating is negative.

A.M.Best said the downgrades reflect a deterioration in the company's underwriting resultsover the latest five-year period and a recent decline in policyholders' surplus.The ratings reflect its supportive, albeit declining, risk-adjusted capitalizationand its expertise in the specialty niche fabricare industry. The negative outlookon the issuer credit rating is based on A.M. Best's concern regarding whether thecompany will materially meet its 2016 projections.


A.M.Best affirmedthe A financial strength ratings and "a" issuer credit ratings of theP&C subsidiaries of AmTrust FinancialServices Inc.

The affectedcompanies are AmTrust Captive Solutions Ltd., AmTrust Europe Ltd., AmTrustInsurance Co. of Kansas Inc., AmTrust Insurance Luxembourg SA, ,AmTrust International UnderwritersLtd., ARI Insurance Co.,Associated Industries Insurance Co.Inc., Comp Options InsuranceCo. Inc., CorePointe InsuranceCo., Developers Surety& Indemnity Co., FirstNonprofit Insurance Co., HeritageIndemnity Co., IndemnityCo. of California, MilwaukeeCasualty Insurance Co., RepublicFire & Casualty Insurance Co., Republic Lloyds, RepublicUnderwriters Insurance Co., Republic-VanguardInsurance Co., RochdaleInsurance Co., SecurityNational Insurance Co., SequoiaIndemnity Co., SequoiaInsurance Co., SouthernCounty Mutual Insurance Co., SouthernInsurance Co., SouthernUnderwriters Insurance Co., SpringfieldInsurance Co., TechnologyInsurance Co. Inc. and WescoInsurance Co.

The ratingagency also affirmed the "bbb" issuer credit rating of AmTrust FinancialServices.

The outlookfor each rating is stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings actions reflect the group's supportive balance sheet strength,strong underwriting and operating performance within its niche market segments,as well as implicit and explicit support from AmTrust Financial Services as neededto support expanding operations.


A.M.Best affirmedthe A financial strength rating and "a" issuer credit rating of

The outlookfor each rating is stable.

A.M.Best said the affirmations reflect First Colonial's solid risk-adjusted capitalization,consistent generation of pretax operating income, and continued progress in thediversification of its portfolio and product mix into multiple distribution channels.The ratings also benefit from the explicit and implicit support provided by itsultimate parent, Allstate Corp.As a subsidiary of Allstate, First Colonial benefits from its expansive market presenceand brand name recognition, the rating agency said.


KrollBond Rating Agency affirmedthe AA+ insurance financial strength rating of Municipal Assurance Corp. with a stable outlook.

Krollsaid the rating reflects the company's strong level of claims-paying resources towithstand the agency's conservative stress case loss assumptions and satisfy allclaims in full and on time. The ratings affirmation incorporates the reduction inclaims-paying resources from Municipal Assurance's repayment of $400 million ofsurplus notes effective June 30 to its affiliates.

Krollalso affirmed the AA long-term credit rating of Municipal Assurance Holdings Inc. with a stable outlook.The rating is one notch below the regulated operating company rating level and reflectsthe structural subordination of cash flows to Municipal Assurance Holdings.

The companiesare units of Assured Guaranty Ltd.