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Insurance ratings actions, Dec. 21

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 assigned a financial strength rating of A+ and a long-term issuer credit rating of "aa-" to Companion Life Insurance Co. of California.

The outlook assigned to the credit ratings is stable.

Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ and a long-term issuer credit rating of "aa-" of the parent company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, and units BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Inc., Companion Life Insurance Co. (SC) and Niagara Life & Health Insurance Co. The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings of Companion Life Insurance of California reflect its strategic position within Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, and its integration into the latter's overall corporate strategy and business plans, according to A.M. Best.

The rating affirmations of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina and its core subsidiaries reflect its dominant market share position in South Carolina, its role as one of the U.S.'s largest healthcare administrative services contractors for the government and private payers, favorable underwriting results and high level of risk-adjusted capitalization. The ratings for Companion Life reflect its consistent operational profitability and favorable premium growth, the rating agency added.

P&C

A.M. Best has assigned a financial strength rating of A++ and a long-term issuer credit rating of "aa+" to Atlanta International Insurance Co.

Concurrently, A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A++ from B+, and the long-term issuer credit rating to "aa+" from "bbb-" of Commercial Casualty Insurance Co.

The outlook assigned to the credit ratings of Atlanta International is stable, while the outlook of Commercial Casualty's ratings remains stable.

The ratings actions are the result of a change in business plan, whereby both companies, previously in runoff, will commence writing student accident and health insurance in 2017. The ratings are based on the explicit support provided by an affiliate; their affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway Inc.; and their strategic role to MedPro Group Inc., as they expand the group's product offerings.

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A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A++ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa+" of General Reinsurance Corp. and its core P&C and life reinsurance and insurance subsidiaries operating in the U.S. and internationally.

The subsidiaries include General Re Life Corp., General Reinsurance Australia Ltd., General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd., General Reinsurance AG, General Reinsurance Africa Ltd., General Star Indemnity Co., General Star National Insurance Co. and Genesis Insurance Co.

In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa+" of General Re Corp.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a-" have been affirmed for IdeaLife Insurance Co., a subsidiary of General Re Life. The outlook of these ratings remains stable.

A.M. Best said the ratings reflect General Re Group's strong operating performance and consistently superior risk-based capitalization, and its well-diversified operating platform, which is diversified by geography and product, including P&C and life business segments with worldwide market profiles.

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed its BBB- long-term counterparty credit rating and A- financial strength ratings on Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and its core operating insurance subsidiaries following the company's announcement that it had agreed to purchase Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG.

The outlook is stable.

S&P views Fairfax's intended acquisition of Allied World favorably when considering the combined company's business and financial risk profiles. In particular, Allied World has consistently generated underwriting and operating profits and would provide Fairfax with another stream of earnings.

The stable outlook on Fairfax is based on S&P's expectation that the pending acquisition will proceed smoothly and the group's capital adequacy will remain very strong, reflecting the structure and capital-raising initiatives to be undertaken to help finance the transaction, and the rating agency's expectations for organic capital growth during the next two years.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.