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Insurance ratings actions, Jan. 19

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Insurance ratings actions, Jan. 19

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

Moody's affirmed its A2 insurance financial strength rating on Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co.

The outlook on the rating is stable.

In addition to the benefit of parental support, Moody's said the A2 insurance financial strength rating on Reliance Standard reflects the company's own strong position in the group employee benefits market, where it is an established player in the small- to medium-size case group employee benefits market, and on its solid underwriting discipline.

Managed Care

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of Delta Dental of Minnesota and its affiliate, Delta Dental of Nebraska.

The outlook for the ratings is stable.

A.M. Best said the ratings reflect strong levels of risk-adjusted capitalization maintained at each dental plan, a favorable trend of revenue growth and Delta Dental of Minnesota's leading market position.

P&C

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of the members of Farmers Insurance Group and Farmers Reinsurance Co.

Concurrently, A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of Farmers management company and attorney-in-fact, Farmers Group Inc.

The outlook is stable.

The rating affirmations reflect Farmers Insurance Group's adequate risk-adjusted capital position, profitable operating performance and an extensive business profile as the seventh-largest personal lines writer in the U.S. market, with a particularly strong presence in the country's western and southwestern regions, A.M. Best said. The ratings also reflect Farmers Insurance Group's strategic importance to Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., the rating agency added.

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A.M. Best revised the outlooks to stable from positive and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "bbb+" of Zale Indemnity Co. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Zale Life Insurance Co.

The rating agency said the outlooks were revised downward based on recent changes to the companies' reinsurance led by management's decision to use an offshore reinsurer affiliate, which effectively lessens the future profitability prospects for the two captive insurers.

In conjunction with the revised outlook on Zale Indemnity, the ratings outlook for Zale Life has been revised to stable from positive. The ratings for Zale Life reflect its role as the provider of credit-related insurance products within Zale Corp., its favorable level of risk-adjusted capitalization, its strong liquidity and the high credit quality of its investment portfolio.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the A- issuer default rating of AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of its operating subsidiaries AXIS Specialty Ltd., AXIS Reinsurance Co., AXIS Insurance Co., AXIS Surplus Insurance Co. and AXIS Specialty Insurance Co.

The ratings outlook is stable.

Fitch said AXIS Capital's ratings continue to be supported by a good competitive position and strong capitalization. Operating results remain challenged by prevailing market conditions but remain generally consistent with current ratings. Further, there is an expectation for continued weakness in the reinsurance sector that will challenge AXIS Capital's earnings, Fitch explained.