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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best revises outlook on CNA Financial

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best revises outlook on CNA Financial

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 revised the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb" and all existing long-term issue credit ratings of Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp.

The agency also revised the outlook to positive from stable for the long-term issuer credit ratings and affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of CNA Financial's property and casualty subsidiaries.

These subsidiaries are American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pennsylvania; Columbia Casualty Co.; Continental Casualty Co.; Continental Insurance Co. of New Jersey; Continental Insurance Co.; National Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford; North Rock Insurance Co. Ltd.; Transportation Insurance Co.; and Valley Forge Insurance Co.

Additionally, A.M. Best revised the outlook to positive from stable for the long-term issuer credit rating and affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a" of Western Surety Co. and its subsidiaries, Surety Bonding Co. of America and Universal Surety of America.

The outlooks of the financial strength ratings remain stable.

The ratings of the subsidiaries reflect their very strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also acknowledge the historical financial support provided by their ultimate parent, Loews Corp.

The long-term issuer credit rating outlook revisions to positive reflect the rating agency's view that the P&C subsidiaries' risk-adjusted capitalization could absorb material potential deterioration in the group's legacy long-term care business.

The ratings of Western Surety Group recognize its 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.

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A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and a long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" to Austin, Texas-headquartered Service American Indemnity Co. with a stable outlook.

Concurrently, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Service Lloyds Insurance Co. with a stable outlook.

The ratings were assigned following the acquisition of American Healthcare Indemnity Co. by Service Insurance Holdings Inc., the parent company of Service Lloyds, at which time the company was renamed Service American Indemnity Co.

Europe

A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of U.K.-based Aviva PLC and the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" of its rated insurance subsidiaries.

The subsidiaries are Aviva Insurance Ltd., Aviva International Insurance Ltd., Aviva Insurance Co. of Canada, Elite Insurance Co., Traders General Insurance Co., Pilot Insurance Co., Scottish & York Insurance Co. Ltd. and S&Y Insurance Co.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect Aviva's very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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Fitch Ratings affirmed France-based Scor SE's insurer financial strength rating at AA- (Very Strong) and long-term issuer default rating at A+.

Fitch also affirmed the insurer financial strength rating at AA- and the long-term issuer default rating at A+ of Scor Switzerland AG, and the long-term issuer default rating at A+ of Scor Holding (Switzerland) AG.

The agency also affirmed the AA- insurer financial strength ratings of Scor Global P&C SE, Scor Global Life SE, Scor Canada Reinsurance Co., Scor UK Co. Ltd., Scor Reinsurance Co. (US), General Security Indemnity Co. of Arizona, Scor Reinsurance Co. (Asia) Ltd., Scor Reinsurance Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd., Scor Global Life Americas Reinsurance Co., Scor Insurance (UK) Ltd. and Scor Global Life Reinsurance Ireland DAC.

The outlooks are stable. The affirmation reflects Scor's very strong business profile within the global reinsurance sector, very strong capitalization and consistent operating results.

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Fitch affirmed Swiss Re Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating at A.

The agency also affirmed the insurer financial strength ratings at AA- (Very Strong) and long-term issuer default ratings at A+ of Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Ltd.

The outlooks are stable. The affirmation reflects the strong franchise of Swiss Re, its very strong business profile within the global reinsurance industry, its consistently strong financial performance and very strong capitalization, Fitch said.

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S&P Global Ratings revised the outlook on U.K.-based Legal & General Group PLC to stable from negative and affirmed its A long-term and A-1 short-term issuer credit ratings on the company.

It also revised its outlook on the company's core and highly strategic subsidiaries to stable from negative.

Additionally, S&P affirmed its AA- long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Legal and General Assurance Society Ltd. and core U.S.-based subsidiaries, as well as its A+ rating on highly strategic subsidiary Legal & General Reinsurance Co. Ltd.

The outlook revision is based on S&P's view that, over the past year, the group has strengthened its core shareholder equity base, maintained moderate dividend growth and kept disciplined underwriting.

The stable outlook is due to the group's ability to manage growth in annuity capital requirements at levels commensurate with its capital generation, allowing it to maintain very strong capital adequacy over the next two years.

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S&P placed on CreditWatch with positive implications its BBB long-term and A-2 short-term issuer credit ratings on Belgian insurance holding company Ageas SA/NV.

The move follows the announcement that Ageas received approval from the National Bank of Belgium to operate reinsurance activities.

S&P also took into account Ageas' announcement on the same day that BNP Paribas Fortis SA did not exercise the put option it holds on the stake of 25% plus 1 share in AG Insurance, the Belgium-based operating entity of the Ageas group.

The CreditWatch reflects a possible upgrade by up to three notches over the coming three to six months.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here and here.

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