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” 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 categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The Order maintains the strongest balance sheet assessment with the strongest risk-based capital assessment further aided by a high quality of capital with no use of captives and reinsurance to finance redundant reserves, as well as no use of surplus notes or other forms of debt. AM Best views the Order’s operating performance pre-dividend returns as strong along with consistent growth in policy count within its ordinary life segment, which has been challenged to grow for the industry as a whole. The Order has experienced a lower level of operational volatility, owed to a loyal customer base with low lapses, and consistent product performance. The business profile assessment is supported by its productive agency force, and lower risk profile of its product portfolio, which is focused heavily on ordinary life products and annuity products without living benefits.
Offsetting these factors includes lower capital and surplus-to-liability ratio and lower post dividend returns when compared with similarly rated peers along with lower growth in its first-year new premiums for ordinary life. Additionally the ordinary life segment has been a challenging environment for top-line growth and faces stiff competition from other large players with similar or greater economies of scale.
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 media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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