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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades United Equitable

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades United Equitable

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 upgraded the financial strength rating to C++ from C+ and the long-term issuer credit rating to "b" from "b-" for Illinois-domiciled United Equitable Insurance Co.

Concurrently, the agency affirmed the financial strength rating of C- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "cc" of American Heartland Insurance Co., United Equitable's separately rated affiliate. The outlook of these ratings remains stable.

The ratings of United Equitable reflect its weak balance sheet, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

The ratings of American Heartland reflect its very weak balance sheet, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

The companies' ratings also reflect a trend of increased operating performance in recent years, and the increased stability of that performance as indicated by low volatility of combined and operating ratios.

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A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Birmingham, Ala.-based ProAssurance Corp.

The agency also affirmed the financial strength ratings of A+ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa-" of ProAssurance Group members ProAssurance Casualty Co., ProAssurance Indemnity Co. Inc., ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., Medmarc Casualty Insurance Co., Noetic Specialty Insurance Co., Podiatry Insurance Co. of America and ProAssurance American Mutual, A Risk Retention Group.

Concurrently, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of PACO Assurance Co. Inc.

In addition, the agency affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" of Eastern Alliance Insurance Group members Eastern Alliance Insurance Co., Allied Eastern Indemnity Co. and Eastern Advantage Assurance Co.

A.M. Best also downgraded the long-term issuer credit rating to "a" from "a+" and affirmed the financial strength rating of A of Eastern Re Ltd. S.P.C.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings of ProAssurance Group reflect its balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings of PACO Assurance and Eastern Alliance Insurance Group members reflect their very strong balance sheet.

Europe

Fitch Ratings revised U.K.-based Just Retirement Ltd.'s and Just Group PLC's outlooks to negative from stable.

The agency also affirmed Just Retirement's insurer financial strength rating at A+ and the long-term issuer default ratings of Just Retirement and Just Group, the group's ultimate holding company, at A.

The outlook revision reflects ongoing uncertainty regarding the ultimate impact of possible valuation changes in relation to the Just Group's portfolio of equity release mortgages, which could lead to a significant decline in the group's capitalization metrics.

The affirmation reflects the group's capital strength, investment risk and asset liability management, all of which Fitch assesses as very strong.

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S&P Global Ratings placed its BB+ issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings on U.K.-based Omnilife Insurance Co. Ltd. on CreditWatch with developing implications.

Parent company The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. B.S.C., or Medgulf Bahrain, is undergoing changes within the group's structure relating to its Saudi Arabian subsidiary. On top of this, Medgulf Bahrain has not finalized its 2017 year-end results.

S&P recently withdrew the ratings of Medgulf Bahrain at the issuer's request.

The CreditWatch placement reflects S&P's view of the considerable uncertainty regarding the effect of the changes in Medgulf Bahrain's business and financial risk profiles on Omnilife.

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.

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