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Insurance ratings actions, Dec. 13

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Insurance ratings actions, Dec. 13

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 affirmed Lincoln National Corp.'s "a-" long-term issuer credit rating and all its existing long- and short-term issue credit ratings.

Further, A.M. Best affirmed the A+ financial strength rating and the "aa-" long-term issuer credit ratings of Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lincoln Life & Annuity Co. of New York. The companies are key life and health insurance units of Lincoln National Corp. and are marketed as Lincoln Financial Group.

The rating agency also affirmed the A financial strength rating and "a+" long-term issuer credit rating of Lincoln National Corp.'s wholly owned unit, First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co.

The outlook is stable.

A.M. Best said the ratings reflect Lincoln Financial Group's market position as a leading provider of individual life and annuity products, consistently favorable statutory and GAAP operating performance, and strong enterprise risk management practices, among other things.

The ratings of First Penn-Pacific Life reflect its strategic position within Lincoln Financial Group, its strong risk-adjusted capitalization and generally favorable operating performance, A.M. Best added.

Property and casualty

A.M. Best downgraded the financial strength rating to B+ from B++ and the long-term issuer credit rating to "bbb-" from "bbb" of Casualty Underwriters Insurance Co.

The outlooks were revised to stable from negative.

A.M. Best said the downgrades are a result of the company's inability to offer its Livestock Risk Protection - Lamb program for an undefined period of time due to restrictions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has had a negative impact on the company's profile.

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A.M. Best affirmed the A- financial strength rating and the "a-" long-term issuer credit rating of Nissan Global Reinsurance Ltd.

The ratings outlook is stable.

The rating agency said the ratings reflect the company's strong risk-adjusted capitalization, significantly improved underwriting performance over the past four years and its conservative underwriting strategy. The ratings also acknowledge Nissan Global Reinsurance's role as a captive insurer for its parent, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., and its role within the profitable extended service contract and extended warranty businesses initiated by Nissan.

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A.M. Best affirmed the "a-" long-term issuer credit rating and the long-term issue credit ratings of Cincinnati Financial Corp.

The rating agency also affirmed the A+ financial strength rating and the "aa-" long-term issuer credit ratings of Cincinnati Financial's lead P&C company Cincinnati Insurance Co. and units Cincinnati Indemnity Co., Cincinnati Casualty Co. and Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co.

The outlook is stable.

The affirmation of the ratings of Cincinnati Insurance and its units reflect the group's superior risk-adjusted capitalization and historically conservative loss reserving standards, which have resulted in recognition of the substantial favorable development of prior accident-year loss reserves, according to A.M. Best. The ratings also reflect the group's historically strong operating earnings, which have improved in recent years, and the strong distribution network within its targeted regional markets.

The outlook reflects the group's ability to withstand variability in underwriting and operating performance due to its superior level of risk-adjusted capitalization, and the rating agency's expectation that management's initiatives will result in sustained improvement in underwriting and operating results.

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DBRS confirmed the A issuer rating and financial strength rating of Co-operators General Insurance Co. and the BBB issuer rating and senior unsecured debentures for Co-operators Financial Services Ltd.

The trends are stable.

DBRS said the ratings of Co-operators General Insurance reflect the evaluation of the company's fundamentals using the global methodology for rating life and P&C insurance companies and insurance organizations. The rating agency explained that the company enjoys a strong franchise in the co-operative space and benefits from a conservative risk profile.

The stable trend reflects an excellent capital solvency position and an expectation of a modest improvement in earnings as a result of increased efforts in distribution, marketing and customer service, DBRS added.

The ratings of Co-operators Financial Services reflect the financial strength rating for Co-operators General Insurance, which is its major operating subsidiary, according to the rating agency. Co-operators Financial Services' ratings benefit from management's conservative approach to capitalization.

The stable trend considers the company's conservative risk management, strong capital position and good strategic initiatives, DBRS noted.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the A- issuer default rating of Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings Ltd. and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of Allied World Assurance Co. Ltd., Allied World Assurance Co. (U.S.) Inc., Allied World National Assurance Co. and Allied World Insurance Co.

The outlook is stable.

Fitch said the affirmation of Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings' ratings reflects its modest underwriting profitability in the current softened reinsurance and insurance markets, solid capitalization, well-managed reserve risk, and modest reduction of higher-risk invested assets, among other things.

The ratings also reflect Fitch's negative sector outlooks on non-life insurance and global reinsurance.

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Fitch affirmed the A- issuer default rating of XLIT Ltd. and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of its core operating companies.

The units affected are XL Bermuda Ltd, XL Insurance Switzerland Ltd., XL Re Latin America Ltd., XL Insurance Co. SE, XL Insurance America Inc., XL Reinsurance America Inc., XL Re Europe SE, XL Insurance Co. of New York Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Co., Indian Harbor Insurance Co., Greenwich Insurance Co. and XL Select Insurance Co.

The outlook is stable.

Fitch said the affirmation of XLIT's ratings reflects the company's very strong business profile as a large, diversified global insurance and reinsurance company, strong capitalization, favorable underwriting results, and reasonable financial leverage.

XLIT is a Cayman Islands unit of XL Group Ltd.