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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best downgrades Foresters Life after sale news

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 financial strength ratings to B++ from A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "bbb+" from "a-" of Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Co. and subsidiary KaMMCO Casualty Co. Inc. The outlook of the financial strength ratings was revised to stable from negative, while the outlook of the long-term issuer credit ratings remains negative.

The ratings reflect the companies' balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as their marginal operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The downgrades reflect the change in the company's operating performance assessment to marginal from adequate, A.M. Best noted.

The long-term issuer credit ratings' negative outlook mirrors pressure being placed on the overall enterprise risk management of Kansas Medical Mutual and KaMMCO Casualty, while the revised financial strength ratings outlook reflects the companies' very strong balance sheet, according to the rating agency.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength ratings of A+ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa-" of Arch Reinsurance Ltd. and its strategic affiliates.

The affiliates are Arch Reinsurance Co., Arch Insurance Co., Arch Specialty Insurance Co., Arch Property Casualty Insurance Co., Arch Indemnity Insurance Co., Arch Insurance Canada Ltd., Alwyn Insurance Company Ltd. and Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd.

The rating agency also affirmed the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a-" of Arch Capital Group Ltd. and Arch Capital Group (U.S.) Inc.

The outlook of all ratings is stable, reflecting the successful integration of United Guaranty Corp., which Arch Reinsurance acquired in late 2016, and the significant contribution of the acquired entity to the latter's net income and retained earnings during 2018, the rating agency said.

The ratings of Arch Reinsurance reflect the group's 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.

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A.M. Best downgraded the financial strength rating to A- from A and the long-term issuer credit rating to "a-" from "a+" of Foresters Life Insurance & Annuity Co. The ratings were placed under review with negative implications.

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

The downgrades reflect the fact that Foresters Life no longer plays an important role in the insurance operations of parent Independent Order of Foresters, A.M. Best said.

The ratings actions come after the announcement by Foresters Financial Services Inc. of its sale of Foresters Life Insurance & Annuity to Nassau Life Insurance Co.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a+" of British American Insurance Co. The outlook of the financial strength rating remains stable, while the outlook of the long-term issuer credit rating was revised to negative from stable.

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

The outlook of the long-term issuer credit rating was revised due to the company's deteriorating operating performance, as reflected in high combined ratios during the past two years, according to A.M. Best.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating to A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Transmonde Services Insurance Co. Ltd. The outlook remains stable.

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

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Fitch Ratings affirmed the B+ long-term issuer credit ratings of Nassau Cos., Nassau Cos. of New York and Nassau Financial Group LP. The rating agency also affirmed the BB+ insurer financial strength ratings of Nassau Financial's primary life insurance subsidiaries, which are Nassau Life Insurance, Nassau Life & Annuity Co. and Nassau Re (Cayman) Ltd.

The BB long-term issuer credit rating of Nassau Life Insurance was also affirmed. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The ratings action follows Nassau Financial's announcement that it will purchase Foresters Life Insurance & Annuity from Independent Order of Foresters.

The affirmations take into account Fitch's assumption that Nassau Financial's statutory capitalization metrics may fall below rating expectations during 2020 as the deal closes, though it will preserve strong capitalization metrics, including sustaining the Prism capital model score within the strong category by year-end 2020.

Europe

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Pozavarovalnica Sava dd. The outlook is stable.

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

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of UnipolRe DAC. The outlook is stable.

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

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Fitch affirmed the A long-term issuer default rating of Prudential PLC and the AA- insurer financial strength ratings of the insurer's operating subsidiaries, Jackson National Life Insurance Co. and Jackson National Life Insurance Co. of New York. The outlook is stable.

The ratings reflect the application of Fitch's group rating methodology to the combined Jackson and Prudential Corp. Asia operations. The rating agency sees both Jackson and Prudential Corp. Asia as very important to the Prudential group.

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Moody's assigned an A2 long-term issuer rating to M&G PLC and affirmed the Aa3 insurance financial strength rating to Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings actions come after Prudential PLC's announcement that the demerger of M&G will be completed Oct. 21.

M&G's rating is aided by the group's strong name and leading position in the U.K., along with profit savings, an expanding footprint in Europe and in the global asset management industry, and solid and stable operating profitability, Moody's said.

Middle East and Africa

A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of B- and a long-term issuer credit rating of "bb-" to Jordan's National Insurance Co.

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

The outlook is positive, reflecting A.M. Best's expectation that National Insurance's risk-adjusted capitalization will be enhanced from 2019 onward, benefiting from internal capital generation.

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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