AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Knights of Columbus

BY Business Wire | CORPORATE | 12/03/21 01:57 PM EST

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of ?aa? (Superior) of Knights of Columbus (the Order) (New Haven, CT). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect the Order?s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings also reflect the absolute and strongest-assessed risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Quality of surplus is good, with low use of reinsurance, no financial leverage, and a highly diversified-invested asset base of overall good credit quality. The Order has reported generally stable earnings trends, supported by strong underwriting, which has led to favorable mortality. Persistency is supported by its member base, which has proven to be very loyal. Earnings were impacted somewhat by higher mortality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the challenges in marketing to its members. The Order?s product offerings, which are mostly ordinary life products, generally are considered less risky and more creditworthy. Disability income and long-term care coverages, are offered with the assistance of third-party administrators and are reinsured. In recent years, the Order has developed its asset management business with mutual funds that are managed consistent with Catholic values, with assets under management of over $1 billion.

Partially mitigating factors include higher allocations to less liquid asset classes, such as alternative assets and private placements. The Order pays a substantial amount of its earnings as dividends to its members; as a result, statutory return ratios are low compared with the life industry average. Lastly, the Order operates in markets that can be highly competitive, such as the ordinary life and individual annuity markets.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best?s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best?s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best?s Credit Ratings, Best?s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best?s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright ? 2021 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Source: AM Best

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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