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Insurance ratings actions, Aug. 4

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 has upgraded the long-term issuer credit rating to "bbb+" from "bbb" and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ of Great Western Insurance Co.

The outlook of the long-term issuer credit rating has been revised to stable from positive, while the outlook of the financial strength rating remains stable.

The ratings upgrade of the long-term issuer credit rating reflects the company's well-established niche position as a pre-need life insurance company, in addition to the adequate level of risk-adjusted capitalization, the company's investment portfolio yield and good operating trends, A.M. Best said.

Managed care

Moody's downgraded Molina Healthcare Inc. over poor financial results in the second quarter and its companywide restructuring.

The agency downgraded the senior unsecured debt ratings of the company to B2 from Ba3 and the insurance financial strength ratings of six of the company's subsidiaries to Ba1 from Baa3.

The subsidiaries are Molina Healthcare of California, Molina Healthcare of Michigan Inc., Molina Healthcare of New Mexico Inc., Molina Healthcare of Ohio Inc., Molina Healthcare of Texas Inc. and Molina Healthcare of Washington Inc.

Moody's outlook on the company and its subsidiaries remains negative.

The agency's downgrade with a continued negative outlook on Molina and its rated operating subsidiaries reflects the company's constrained financial flexibility as well as uncertainty regarding the execution of its restructuring and profit improvement plan, Moody's said.

On Aug. 2, the company reported it was withdrawing its full-year guidance for 2017 and announced a companywide restructure following a second-quarter adjusted net loss of $225 million. Its shares plummeted almost 11% in the same week.

Property and casualty

A.M. Best has removed from under review with developing implications and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Western Life Assurance Co.

The outlook is stable.

Western Life Assurance is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Wawanesa Life Insurance Co. following its acquisition by Trimont Financial Ltd., a subsidiary of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

The rating agency said the ratings reflect Western Life Assurance's strategic value in diversifying the product profile and distribution network of Wawanesa Life Insurance, its strong risk-adjusted capitalization and its positive premium and earnings trends.

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Kroll Bond Rating Agency has assigned an issuer rating of BB+ with a stable outlook to Conifer Holdings Inc.

Additionally, Kroll has assigned insurance financial strength ratings of BBB+ with a stable outlook to Conifer Holdings' units, Conifer Insurance Co. and White Pine Insurance Co.

Kroll said the ratings reflect the organization's niche focus, experienced management team, comprehensive capitalization, and flexible operating platform.