|Investment Grade:||Moody's||Standard & Poors|
|Exceptional||Aaa, Aaa1, Aaa2, Aaa3||AAA, AAA-, AA+|
|Excellent||Aa, Aa1, Aa2, Aa3||AA, AA-, A+|
|Good||A, A1, A2, A3||A, A-, BBB+|
|Adequate||Baa, Baa1, Baa2, Baa3||BBB, BBB-, BB+|
|Questionable||Ba, Ba1, Ba2, Ba3||BB, BB-, B+|
|Poor||B, B1, B2, B3||B, B-, CCC+|
|Very Poor||Caa, Caa1, Caa2, Caa3||CCC, CCC-, CC+|
|Extremely Poor||Ca, Ca1, Ca2, Ca3||CC,CC-, C+|
Claims-Paying Ability Ratings
Standard & Poor's insurance claims-paying ability rating is an opinion of an operating insurance company's financial capacity to meet the obligations of its insurance policies in accordance with their terms. This opinion is not specific to any particular insurance policy or contract, nor does it address the suitability of a particular insurance policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser. Furthermore, the opinion does not take into account deductibles, surrender or cancellation penalties, the timeliness of payment, or the likelihood of the use of a defense such as fraud to deny claims. For insurers with cross-border or multinational operations, including those conducted by branch offices or subsidiaries, ratings do not take into account any potential that may exist for foreign exchange restrictions to prevent policy obligations from being met.
Claims-paying ability ratings are based on current information furnished by the insurance company or obtained by Stardard & Poor's from other sources it considers reliable. Stardard & Poor's does not perform an audit in connection with any rating and may, on occasion, rely on unaudited financial information. The ratings may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn as a result of changes in, or unavailability of, such information or based on other circumstances.
Claims-paying ability ratings do not refer to an insurer's ability to meet nonpolicy obligations (i.e. debt contracts). Assignment of ratings to debt issued by insurance companies or to debt issues that are fully or partially supported by insurance policies, contracts, or guarantees is a separate process from the determination of claims-paying ability ratings, and follows procedures consistent with debt rating definitions and practices.
Claims-paying ability ratings are divided into two broad classifications. Rating categories from 'AAA' to 'BBB' are classified as "secure" claims-paying ability ratings and are used to indicate insurers whose financial capacity to meet policyholder obligations is viewed on balance as sound. Among factors considered in placing insurers within the spectrum of "secure" rating categories is the time frame within which policyholder security could be damaged by adverse economic and underwriting conditions. That time frame grows shorter as ratings move down the "secure" rating scale.
Rating categories from 'BB' to 'CCC' are classified as "vulnerable" claims-paying ability ratings and are used to indicate insurers whose financial capacity to meet policyholder obligations is viewed as vulnerable to adverse economic and underwriting conditions. Plus (+) and minus (-) signs show relative standing within a category; they do not suggest likely upgrades or downgrades.
Ratings appear on CreditWatch where an event or deviation from an expected trend occurs, and additional information is necessary to evaluate the current rating. A rating decision is normally made within 120 days unless pending the outcome of a specific event. Ratings may change without appearing on CreditWatch.
A `q' subscript indicates that the rating is based solely on quantitative analysis of publicly available financial data. In the case of claims-paying ability ratings, this is the statutory financial data filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. These ratings are issued for each insurer on a standalone basis without consideration for strength or weakness that might be added by a parent or affiliated companies.
Secure Range: AAA to
AAA Superior financial security on an absolute and relative basis. Capacity to meet policyholder obligations is overwhelming under a variety of economic and underwriting conditions.
AA Excellent financial security. Capacity to meet policyholder obligations is strong under a variety of economic and underwriting conditions.
A Good financial security, but capacity to meet policyholder obligations is somewhat susceptible to adverse economic and underwriting conditions.
BBB Adequate financial security, but capacity to meet policyholder obligations is susceptible to adverse economic and underwriting conditions.
Vulnerable Range: BB TO
BB Financial security may be adequate, but capacity to meet policyholder obligations, particularly with respect to long-term or "long-tail" policies, is vulnerable to adverse economic and underwriting conditions.
B Vulnerable financial security. Currently able to meet policyholder obligations, but capacity to meet policyholder obligations is particularly vulnerable to adverse economic and underwriting conditions.
CCC Extremely vulnerable financial security. Continued capacity to meet policyholder obligations is highly questionable unless favorable economic and underwriting conditions prevail.
R Regulatory action. As of the date indicated, the insurer is under supervision of insurance regulators following rehabilitation, receivership, liquidation, or any other action that reflects regulatory concern about the insurer's financial condition. Information on this status is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and other regulatory bodies. Although believed to be accurate, this information is not guaranteed. The 'R' rating does not apply to insurers subject only to nonfinancial actions such as market conduct violations.
Plus (+) or minus (-): The ratings from 'AA' to 'B' may be modified by the addition of a plus or minus sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories. Stardard & Poor's ratings and other assessments of creditworthiness and financial strength are not a recommendation to purchase or discontinue any policy or contract issues by an insurer or to buy, hold, or sell any security issued by an insurer. In addition, neither a rating nor an assessment is a guaranty of an insurer's financial strength.
NR = Not Rated. The insurer is not rated by Standard & Poor's.
The issue has not yet been
evaluated by the respective credit rating agency. It is no indication as to the
merits of the issue.
Moody's ratings use numbers with their ratings between AAA & C, whilst S&P use positive and negative symbols with their alphabetical codes.