AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of Members of Manhattan Insurance Group and Standard Life and Casualty Insurance Company

BY Business Wire | CORPORATE | 01/12/22 08:48 AM EST

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to B++ (Good) from B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to ?bbb? (Good) from ?bbb-? (Good) of Manhattan Life Assurance Company of America (Little Rock, AR), The Manhattan Life Insurance Company (Great Neck, NY), Family Life Insurance Company (Houston, TX) and Western United Life Assurance Company (Spokane, WA). These companies collectively are known as the Manhattan Insurance Group (MIG). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.

Concurrently, AM Best has upgraded the FSR to B+ (Good) from B (Fair) and the Long-Term ICR to ?bbb-? (Good) from ?bb+? (Fair) of Standard Life and Casualty Insurance Company (Standard Life and Casualty) (Salt Lake City, UT). The outlook of these ratings is positive.

MIG?s ratings reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as adequate, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The rating upgrades are driven primarily by a trend of improving risk-adjusted capitalization over the previous several years, coupled with continuing favorable operating performance despite the challenges of the COVID-19-fueled environment. AM Best expects MIG to continue its trend of improving risk-adjusted capitalization over the near term.

Standard Life and Casualty?s ratings reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as adequate, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management. The ratings also benefit from their relationship to MIG. The upgrading of Standard Life and Casualty?s ratings is driven primarily by an improvement in risk-adjusted capitalization post-acquisition by MIG, due to a capital contribution and de-risking of the invested asset portfolio. The positive outlooks are due to the potential for further rating enhancement as the company becomes further integrated into MIG?s operations.

Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the continuing global pandemic and the unknown long-term effects on public health and the macroeconomic environment. Furthermore, MIG and Standard Life and Casualty have increased investment allocations to NAIC-2 class bond issuances over the last several years, which has the potential to significantly decrease the quality of their balance sheets if unfavorable market conditions arise. AM Best will continue to monitor these allocations.

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 ? 2022 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.

fir_news_article