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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best puts Voya ratings under review

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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best puts Voya ratings under review

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 placed under review with developing implications the financial strength ratings of A (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "a+" of Voya Financial Inc.'s life insurance entities Voya Insurance and Annuity Co., Voya Retirement Insurance & Annuity Co., ReliaStar Life Insurance Co., ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. of New York and Security Life of Denver Insurance Co.

At the same time, A.M. Best placed under review with developing implications Voya Financial's long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb+" as well as its existing long-term issue credit ratings.

Additionally, the financial strength rating of A- (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Midwestern United Life Insurance Co. have been placed under review with developing implications.

The ratings actions follow Voya Financial's announcement that it has agreed to sell its closed-block variable annuity and individual fixed indexed annuity segments to a consortium of investors led by Apollo Global Management LLC, A.M. Best said.

A.M. Best expects the ratings to be removed from under review following the close of the transaction. The under review with developing implications status is in response to the execution risk associated with the transactions, the rating agency said.

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Fitch Ratings placed the A insurer financial strength rating assigned to Voya Financial's life insurance subsidiary, Voya Insurance and Annuity, on Rating Watch Negative.

Fitch also affirmed the A insurer financial strength ratings assigned to Voya Financial's other rated life insurance subsidiaries, Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity, ReliaStar Life Insurance, ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. of New York, and Security Life of Denver Insurance.

The outlooks are stable.

In addition, Fitch affirmed its long-term issuer default ratings at BBB+ of Voya Financial and Equitable of Iowa Cos.

The ratings actions follow the announcement that Voya Financial agreed to sell Voya Insurance and Annuity.

Fitch views the sale of Voya Financial's closed-block variable annuity business positively, which is capital-intensive and subject to significant volatility and tail risk due to the underlying guarantees associated with the variable annuity contracts.

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A.M. Best placed under review with developing implications the financial strength rating of B+ (good) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb-" of Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co.

A.M. Best also placed under review with developing implications the long-term issuer credit rating of "bb-" of the company's ultimate parent, Investors Heritage Capital Corp.

The ratings actions follow the announcement that Aquarian Investors Heritage Holdings intends to acquire Investors Heritage Capital and its subsidiaries, the rating agency said.

A.M. Best expects the ratings to remain under review pending the completion of the transaction.

Managed care

A.M. Best revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating of B (fair) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bb" of Oregon Dental Service.

The rating agency also affirmed the financial strength rating of B- (fair) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bb-" of Moda Health Plan Inc. The outlook is stable.

The ratings of Oregon Dental Service reflect its weak balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The revision of the outlook to stable reflects the improvement in earnings and the capital support, A.M. Best said.

The ratings of Moda Health reflect its very weak balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

Property and casualty

DBRS upgraded Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.'s issuer rating to BBB (high) from BBB and senior unsecured debt rating to BBB (high) from BBB.

In addition, DBRS upgraded the issuer rating and the financial strength rating of Northbridge General Insurance Corp. as well as the financial strength rating of Federated Insurance Co. of Canada, the Canadian operating subsidiaries of Fairfax, to A from A (low).

All trends were changed to stable from positive, reflecting improving fundamentals, including expanding global operations and strengthening franchise as well as the ability to adapt to the current challenging operating environment.

The upgrade of Fairfax's ratings primarily reflects the application of the global insurance methodology and the assignment of a financial strength rating of A to its operating insurance companies.

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A.M. Best revised the outlooks to stable from positive and affirmed the financial strength rating of A (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a+" of Atain Specialty Insurance Co. and Atain Insurance Co.

The ratings reflect the companies' strongest balance sheet strength, as well as strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management, A.M. Best said.

The stable outlooks consider strong operating profitability, preservation of the strongest level of capital, and the ability to navigate market cycles through the companies' long-standing agency partnerships, the rating agency said.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Global Indemnity Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiaries American Reliable Insurance Co., Diamond State Insurance Co., Penn-America Insurance Co., Penn-Patriot Insurance Co., Penn-Star Insurance Co. and United National Insurance Co.

At the same time, A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit ratings of "bbb" of Global Indemnity Re's ultimate parent holding company, Global Indemnity Ltd.

The ratings of Global Indemnity Re are based on the consolidated results of the company and its six U.S.-based insurance subsidiaries. The ratings consider the key roles that each of these member companies play and reflect the organization's strongest balance sheet strength.