Standard & Poor's
A Standard & Poor's Insurer Finanical Strength Rating is a current opinion of the financial security characteristics of an insurance organization with respect to its ability to pay under its insurance policies and contracts in accordance with their terms. This opinion is not specific to any particular policy or contract, nor does it address the suitability of a particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser. Furthermore, the opinion does not take into account deductibles, surrender or cancellation penalties, timeliness of payment, nor the likelihood of the use of a defense such as fraud to deny claims. For organizations with cross-border or multinational operations, including those conducted by subsidiaries or branch offices, the ratings do not take into account potential that may exist for foreign exchange restrictions to prevent financial obligations from being met.
Insurer Financial Strength Ratings are based on information furnished by rated organizations or obtained by Standard & Poor's from other sources it considers reliable. Standard & Poor's does not perform an audit in connection with any rating and may on occasion rely on unaudited financial information. Ratings may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or unavailability of such information or based on other circumstances.
Insurer Financial Strength Ratings do not refer to an organization's ability to meet nonpolicy (i.e. debt) obligations. Assignment of ratings to debt issued by insurers or to debt issues that are fully or partially supported by insurance policies, contracts, or guarantees is a separate process from the determination of Insurer Financial Strength Ratings, and follows procedures consistent with issue credit rating definitions and practices. Insurer Financial Strength Ratings are not a recommendation to purchase or discontinue any policy or contract issued by an insurer or to buy, hold, or sell any security issued by an insurer. A rating is not a guaranty of an insurer's finanical strength or security.
'pi' Ratings, denoted with a 'pi' subscript, are Insurer Financial Strength Ratings based on an analysis of published financial information and additional information in the public domain. They do not reflect in-depth meetings with an insurer's management and are therefore based on less comprehensive information than ratings without a 'pi' subscript. 'pi' ratings are reviewed annually based on a new year's financial statements, but may be reviewed on an interim basis if a major event that may affect an insurer's financial security occurs.
Quantitative Ratings, denoted with a 'q' subscript, were discontinued in 1997. The ratings were based solely on quantitative analysis of publicly available financial data.
Secure Range: AAA to BBB
An insurer rated 'AAA' has EXTREMELY STRONG financial security characteristics. The 'AAA' is the highest insurer Financial Strength Rating assigned by Standard & Poor's.
An insurer rated 'AA' has VERY STRONG financial security characteristics, differing only slightly from those rated higher.
An insurer rated 'A' has STRONG financial security characteristics, but is somewhat more likely to be affected by adverse business conditions than are insurers with higher ratings.
An insurer rated 'BBB' has GOOD financial security characteristics, but is more likely to be affected by adverse business conditions than are higher rated insurers.
Vulnerable Range: BB to CCC
An insurer rated 'BB' has MARGINAL financial security characteristics. Positive attributes exist, but adverse business conditions could lead to insufficient ability to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'B' has WEAK financial security characteristics. Adverse business conditions will likely impair its ability to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'CCC' has VERY WEAK financial security characteristics, and is dependent on favorable business conditions to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'CC' has EXTREMELY WEAK financial security characteristics and is likely not to meet some of its financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'R' has experienced a REGULATORY ACTION regarding solvency. The rating does not apply to insurers subject only to nonfinancial actions such as market conduct violations.
A 'q' subscript rating is based solely on quantitative analysis of publicly available financial data.
'pi' Ratings, denoted with a 'pi' subscript, are Insurer Financial Strength Ratings based on an analysis of published financial information and additional information in the public domain. They do not reflect in-depth meetings with an insurer's management and are therefore based on less comprehensive information than ratings without a 'pi' subscript.
For further information, contact Standard & Poor's at 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 (212)208-1524.
Last Updated: 9/23/2012 10:05:00 PM