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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best acts on Liberty Union, Utica First

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best acts on Liberty Union, Utica First

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 downgraded the long-term issuer credit ratings to "a" from "a+" and affirmed the A financial strength ratings of Alfa Insurance Group members Alfa Mutual Insurance Co., Alfa Mutual Fire Insurance Co., Alfa Mutual General Insurance Co., Alfa Alliance Insurance Corp., Alfa General Insurance Corp., Alfa Insurance Corp., Trexis Insurance Corp. and Trexis One Insurance Corp.

A.M. Best also downgraded the long-term issuer credit to "a" from "a+" and affirmed the financial strength rating of A of Alfa Life Insurance Corp.

The outlook remains stable.

The ratings of Alfa Insurance reflect the group's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings of Alfa Life reflect its balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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A.M. Best revised the long-term issuer credit rating outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the B financial strength rating and the "bb" long-term issuer credit rating of Liberty Union Life Assurance Co. The outlook for the financial strength rating remains stable.

The ratings reflect Liberty Union Life's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

The revision of the long-term issuer credit rating outlook reflects significantly higher operating and net income reported in 2018, driven by a sizable release of excess reserves that materially strengthened the company's absolute capital and surplus.

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A.M. Best revised the outlook to stable from positive for the long-term issuer credit rating and affirmed the A financial strength rating and the "a" long-term issuer credit rating of Utica First Insurance Co. Inc. The outlook for the financial strength rating remains stable.

The ratings reflect Utica First's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The revision of the long-term issuer credit rating outlook reflects the volatility in the company's operating performance and elevated common stock leverage that led to a decline in surplus as of year-end 2018, owed to a large underwriting loss and unrealized losses from its equity portfolio.

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S&P Global Ratings placed its AA- long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Iron Horse Insurance Co. and Traders Insurance Ltd. on CreditWatch Negative.

The ratings action takes into account the potential lowering of issuer credit ratings on Chevron Corp. once the Anadarko Petroleum Corp. acquisition closes, because of higher-than-expected debt leverage.

The ratings on Iron Horse and Traders Insurance reflect S&P Global Ratings' view that they are "highly strategic" subsidiaries to Chevron.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of Midland National Life Insurance Co. and North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance, as well as the A- long-term issuer default rating of Sammons Financial Group Inc. The outlook is stable.

The ratings reflect the organization's strong, stable operating performance, very strong capitalization, low financial leverage and moderate business profile.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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