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Insurance ratings actions, April 5


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Insurance ratings actions, April 5

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 placedunder review with positive implications the B++ financial strength rating and "bbb+"issuer credit rating of StarmountLife Insurance Co.

A.M.Best said the under review status reflects the recent announcement of a definitiveagreement entered intobetween Unum Group andH&J Capital LLC, the holding company of Starmount, under which Unum will acquirethe company and its other operations. The rating agency said the acquisition furtherstrengthens Starmount's ability to be competitive in workplace dental and visionmarkets and provides the benefit of a strong parent company with significant financialflexibility and resources to further enhance Starmount's historically favorablefinancial metrics. Additionally, the under review status reflects the potentialoperational and financial benefits that Starmount will likely receive as a resultof its integration with Unum Group.

The ratingswill remain under review pending the close of the transaction and A.M. Best's completionof its review of the transaction details.


A.M.Best removedfrom under review with developing implications and upgraded the financial strengthrating to A+ from A and the issuer credit rating to "aa-" from "a+"of Rural Community Insurance Co.

The outlookassigned to each rating is negative.

The ratingswere placed under reviewon Dec. 21, 2015, following the announcement that Rural Community's parent, , entered intoa definitive agreement with ZurichInsurance Group Ltd., under which Zurich, through its U.S. non-lifesubsidiary, Zurich American InsuranceCo., would acquire all outstanding shares of Rural Community and itsimmediate parent company, Rural CommunityInsurance Agency Inc. That transaction closed March 31.

A.M.Best said the ratings actions reflect its expectation that Rural Community willbenefit from its new position as a member of Zurich, a large and globally diversifiedinsurance group that will ultimately provide the company with significant reinsurancesupport, eventual operating efficiencies and strong financial flexibility. The negativeoutlook reflects the profitability issues affecting Zurich's general insurance segmentand the expectation that Zurich will be challenged to implement the remedial actionsnecessary to support near-term improvements in the existing general insurance business.

Additionally,the rating agency noted that Rural Community benefits from favorable risk-adjustedcapital levels, historically profitable operating performance and a leading marketposition within the multiperil crop insurance market.

A.M.Best assignedan A- financial strength rating and "a-" issuer credit rating to

The outlookassigned to each rating is stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings reflect the company's excellent risk-adjusted capitalization,significant improvement in operating profitability during the most recent five-yearperiod, and strong market position operating as a reinsurer of farm mutuals in Canada.

FitchRatings affirmedthe AA insurer financial strength ratings of Factory Mutual Insurance Co. and its affiliates , , and .

The outlookis stable.

Fitchsaid the ratings continue to reflect the group's strong capital and long-term underwritingprofitability, competitive advantages derived from the company's engineering expertiseand global presence in specialty commercial property insurance markets, as wellas benefits drawn from its mutual company status.