Life Insurance Company Ratings

Why should you be concerned about how an insurance company is rated?  It's very simple... The foundation of a life insurance policy is its promise to pay your beneficiaries a death benefit if you pass away.  If a company is poorly rated, their promise is diminished by a distinct lack of financial strength.  Much like a bank will not consider loaning a customer money to buy a home if they don't have a job or if there is demonstrated irresponsibility-- it simply isn't prudent to pay premiums to an insurance company who demonstrates a similar strain of shortcomings.


Below is a table that provides the possibilities with respect to insurance company ratings.  Seldom do we see companies prominent enough to consider offering with ratings below A- (A.M. Best).

  

Insurance Company Rating Categories
Rank Number A.M. Best Standard & Poor's Moody's Fitch
  Financial Strength Financial Strength Financial Strength Claims Paying Ability
1 A++
Secure / Superior
AAA
Extremely Strong
Aaa
Exceptional
AAA
Secure / Highest
2 A+
Secure / Superior
AA+
Very Strong
Aa1
Excellent
AA+
Secure / Very High
3 A
Secure / Excellent
AA
Very Strong
Aa2
Excellent
AA
Secure / Very High
4 A-
Secure / Excellent
AA-
Very Strong
Aa3
Excellent
AA-
Secure / Very High
5 B++
Secure / Very Good
A+
Strong
A1
Good
A+
Secure / High
6 B+
Secure / Good
A
Strong
A2
Good
A
Secure / High
7 B
Vulnerable / Fair
A-
Strong
A3
Good
A-
Secure / High
8 B-
Vulnerable / Fair
BBB+
Good  
Baa1
Adequate
BBB+
Secure / Adequate
9 C++
Vulnerable / Marginal
BBB
Good  
Baa2
Adequate
BBB
Secure / Adequate
10 C+
Vulnerable / Marginal
BBB-
Good  
Baa3
Adequate
BBB-
Secure / Adequate
11 C
Vulnerable / Weak
BB+
Marginal
Ba1
Questionable
BB+
Uncertain
12 C-
Vulnerable / Weak
BB
Marginal
Ba2
Questionable
BB
Uncertain
13 D
Vulnerable / Poor
BB-
Marginal
Ba3
Questionable
BB-
Uncertain
14 E
Vulnerable / Under State Supervision
B+
Weak
B1
Poor
B+
Possessing Risk
15 F
Vulnerable / In Liquidation
B
Weak
B2
Poor
B
Possessing Risk
16 S
Rating Suspended
B-
Weak
B3
Poor
B-
Possessing Risk
17   CCC+
Very Weak
Caa
Very Poor
CCC
Substantial
Risk
18   CCC
Very Weak
Ca
Extremely Poor
DD
Liquidating
19   CCC-
Very Weak
C
Lowest
SR
Suspended Rating
20   CC
Extremely Weak
   
21   R
Regulatory Action
   
22   pi
Based on public information only
   
 

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