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Insurance ratings actions, July 21


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Insurance ratings actions, July 21

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 affirmedthe A+ financial strength ratings and "aa-" issuer credit ratings of andits affiliates, National Benefit LifeInsurance Co. and PrimericaLife Insurance Co. of Canada.

Additionally,A.M. Best affirmed the "a-" issuer credit rating of Primerica Inc., which is the holding company for the group'sinsurance and non-insurance operating companies.

The outlookfor each of these ratings is stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings on the life units recognize the group's status as one of thelargest writers of term life insurance in the U.S., with its strong market positionattributable to its dedicated distribution affiliate, Primerica Financial Services Inc. The group's business profilein the U.S. and Canada is further reinforced by its experienced management team,which successfully built and supports its sizable sales force, the rating agencysaid.

A.M.Best affirmedthe A financial strength rating and "a" issuer credit rating of

The ratingagency also affirmed the A- financial strength ratings and "a-" issuercredit ratings of Kansas City Life's wholly owned subsidiary, Sunset Life Insurance Co. of America and its final expenselife insurance subsidiary, Old AmericanInsurance Co.

The outlookfor each rating is stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings reflect Kansas City Life's diversified portfolio of productofferings, which consist of ordinary life, fixed and variable annuities, and grouphealth and life products. Kansas City Life also has maintained a strong risk-adjustedcapital position even with fully supporting reserves for regulation XXX and guidelineAXXX (AG38) with no debt and limited use of reinsurance. The ratings also reflectthe conservative and diversified investment portfolio closely matched to meet itsliabilities.

S&PGlobal Ratings affirmed the A financial strength and long-term counterparty creditratings of American Heritage LifeInsurance Co.

The outlookis stable.

S&Psaid its rating reflects the company's strong competitive position as it has topmarket positions in worksite sales in accident, critical illness, cancer and medicalinsurance products. The ratings also reflect S&P's revised view of the company'sfinancial risk profile, which it now considers as strong rather than upper adequate.

The ratingagency continues to view the company as a moderately strategic subsidiary to parentAllstate Corp. The stableoutlook reflects the agency's expectation that over the next 18 months to 24 months,the company will maintain its very strong capital adequacy per its risk-based capitalmodel.

Managed care

S&Pplaced its ratings on Aetna Inc.on CreditWatch with developing implications, and its ratings on and its core subsidiaries onCreditWatch with negative implications.

The placementsfollow the filing by theU.S. Department of Justice of a lawsuit opposing Aetna's planned acquisition ofHumana.

S&Pcredit analyst Joseph Marinucci said in a news release that the agency believesa deal termination would positively impact Aetna's financial risk profile, citingthe requirement for significant repayment of debt issued to fund the deal.

The ratingagency believes a deal termination would likely have a negative impact on Humana'scredit profile because of the removal of benefit associated with being a core componentof a larger, more well-diversified enterprise.

The CreditWatchDeveloping placement for Aetna reflects the potential that S&P could raise itsratings on the company by one notch in connection to a deal termination due to theabsence of financing and integration risks associated with the transaction. It alsoreflects the possibility S&P could lower the ratings in connection with an extendedperiod of higher leverage and lower debt-service coverage.

The CreditWatchNegative placement for Humana reflects the potential that S&P could lower ratingson the company and its core subsidiaries by one notch if it no longer views thecompany as having core status to a newly formed Aetna enterprise stemming from itsvery meaningful contribution to current and prospective revenue, earnings, cashflow and capital.


A.M.Best downgradedthe financial strength rating to A from A+ and the issuer credit ratings to "a+"from "aa-" of Solen VersicherungenAG and Noble AssuranceCo.

The outlookfor each rating has been revised to stable from negative.

A.M.Best said the downgrades reflect weakening in the credit profile of Royal DutchShell plc, due in particular to continuing low oil prices. Royal Dutch Shell isthe ultimate parent company of single-parent captives, Solen Versicherungen andNoble Assurance. Solen Versicherungen's ratings reflect its affiliation with RoyalDutch Shell, to which it remains important as a risk management tool. In addition,its ratings reflect its excellent earnings track record and strong risk-adjustedcapitalization. The ratings of Solen Versicherungen are extended to Noble Assurance.

A.M.Best affirmedthe A++ financial strength ratings and "aa+" issuer credit ratings ofthe members of MedPro Group.

The affectedcompanies are Medical Protective Co.,its affiliates Princeton InsuranceCo. and PLICO Inc.,and its two reinsured affiliates, MedProRRG Risk Retention Group and AttProRRG Reciprocal Risk Retention Group.

The outlookfor each rating is stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings reflect the group's excellent balance sheet strength, itsfavorable long-term operating performance and the significant market position itmaintains in the medical professional liability sector. The ratings also considerthe group's substantial distribution capabilities and prudent claims handling philosophy.Furthermore, the ratings continue to benefit from the implicit and explicit supportprovided by the group's ultimate parent, BerkshireHathaway Inc., which includes reinsurance programs, investment opportunitiesand capital support.

A.M.Best affirmedthe A financial strength ratings and "a+" issuer credit ratings of and itswholly owned and 100% reinsured subsidiary, NavigatorsSpecialty Insurance Co.

A.M.Best also affirmed the "bbb+" issuer credit rating of the group's publiclytraded ultimate parent, NavigatorsGroup Inc.

The outlookfor each rating remains stable.

A.M.Best said the ratings on the group reflect its leading position as a global providerof insurance to the marine sector, its well-diversified book of business, its modestnet windstorm exposure, management's conservative approach to risk management, underwritingand claims handling. Further, the ratings consider the group's solid level of risk-adjustedcapitalization and historical profitability.

The stableoutlooks reflect A.M. Best's expectation that the group will continue to maintainits solid level of risk-adjusted capitalization and operating performance, generatingoverall profitable results throughout market cycles.

A.M.Best affirmedthe A+ financial strength rating and "aa-" issuer credit rating of and the A- financial strength rating and "a-" issuer credit rating ofits unit NIPPONKOA Insurance Co. (China)Ltd.

The outlookfor each rating remains stable.

The ratingagency also affirmed the A+ financial strength ratings and "aa-" issuercredit ratings of Sompo Japan InsuranceCo. of America and its reinsured affiliate, Sompo Japan Fire and Marine Insurance Co. of America. Theoutlook for each of these ratings remains stable.

Additionally,A.M. Best revised the outlooks to negative from stable and affirmed the A- financialstrength rating and "a-" issuer credit rating of Canopius US Insurance Inc.

A.M.Best said the affirmations reflect Sompo Japan Nipponkoa's strong-risk adjustedcapitalization, improved operating performance and sound business profile. The ratingsaffirmations of NIPPONKOA reflect its strong risk-adjusted capitalization and widerange of parental support.

The ratingsof Sompo Japan Insurance Co. of America and Sompo Japan Fire and Marine are basedon their role and strategic importance to Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, along with explicitsupport provided by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa in the form of quota share reinsurance.The ratings also reflect the implied support to be provided by Sompo Japan Nipponkoain the future in order to support the group's U.S. operations.

The revisedoutlooks of Canopius take into consideration recent unfavorable loss experience,significant adverse reserve development recorded in 2015 and execution risk as thecompany takes strategic initiatives to address financial performance.

Moody'swithdrew the A2 insurance financial strength rating of Essex Insurance Co., formerly a direct, wholly owned subsidiaryof Markel Corp.

The outlookis stable.

Moody'swithdrew the rating as a result of the company's reorganization. Essex was mergedinto Evanston Insurance Co.effective July 1.

S&Paffirmed its BBB+ counterparty credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Markelwith a stable outlook.

At thesame time, S&P affirmed its A counterparty credit and financial strength ratingson Markel's core operating insurance subsidiaries and revised the outlook to positivefrom stable. The rating agency also withdrew its counterparty credit and financialstrength ratings on Essex Insurance, reflecting this subsidiary's merger into anotherMarkel operating subsidiary, Evanston Insurance.

S&Pcredit analyst Laline Carvalho said in a news release that the agency views Markel'soperating insurance subsidiaries as having a strong business risk profile and verystrong financial risk profile. The analyst also said that S&P's positive outlookon Markel's units reflects the view that the group's business risk profile is strengtheningin light of a stronger competitive position supported by strong operating performanceand could be more in line with higher-rated peers over the next 12 months to 24months if the group continues to enhance its business platform and report strongresults.

Carvalhoadded that S&P's stable outlook on Markel and related core intermediate holdingcompanies reflects the rating agency's view thatthe ultimate parent's fixed-charge coverage and financial leverage metrics are morein line with other BBB+ rated insurance holding companies.

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