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Insurance ratings actions, May 31

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

Fitch Ratings downgraded the insurer financial strength ratings of Brighthouse Life Insurance Co. and New England Life Insurance Co. to A from A+.

The ratings outlook is stable.

Fitch said the downgrade reflects deterioration in the company's projected capitalization metrics relative to the rating agency's expectations and management targets for the metrics.

Managed care

Moody's affirmed the Baa2 senior debt rating of Anthem Inc. following the termination of its merger with Cigna Corp.

Moody's also affirmed the insurance financial strength ratings at A2 of Anthem Insurance Cos. Inc., Blue Cross of California, Empire HealthChoice Assurance Inc., Anthem Health Plans Inc., Anthem Health Plans of Virginia Inc. and Community Insurance Co.

The outlook on the companies was changed to stable from negative.

The affirmation reflects Anthem's strong business profile and financial profile. In addition, Moody's expects Anthem's membership growth to remain consistent.

The stable outlook reflects the rating agency's view that, despite the failure of the merger, Anthem remains in a solid competitive position within the industry and continues to have growth opportunities within its footprint.

Property and casualty

A.M. Best upgraded the financial strength ratings to A from A- and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "a" from "a-" of Builders Insurance (A Mutual Captive Co.) and its units, American Builders Insurance Co. and National Builders Insurance Co.

The outlook of these ratings has been revised to stable from positive.

The ratings upgrades reflect the companies' strong risk-adjusted capitalization, profitable operating performance, generally favorable loss reserve development trends and established market presence providing workers' compensation and general liability coverage.

Additionally, the ratings reflect the group's prudent risk selection process, effective loss control practices and proactive claims management, which contribute to historically strong business retention, A.M. Best said.

The agency said the outlook is based on the group's strong capitalization and the expectation of organic surplus growth through profitable operations over the near term.

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A.M. Best revised the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb-" of Capacity Insurance Co.

The revised outlook reflects Capacity Insurance's improved risk-adjusted capitalization and operating performance in recent years. The ratings reflect the company's strong risk-adjusted capitalization, driven by moderate net underwriting leverage and low investment leverage, as well as its improved operating performance in recent years, A.M. Best said.