Note: Effective June 15, 2015 A.M. Best Company, Inc. and its credit rating agency subsidiaries (AMB) released a guide for the use of credit rating opinions produce by AMB titled "Understanding Best's Credit Ratings" (UBCR). This new document aggregates existing information (processes, terminology, scales and other rating related information) historically found in various locations throughout the AMB website or in print publications. UBCR was created to provide a clear and concise central source of information for the users of Best's Credit Rating opinions. In addition, UBCR amended terminology which includes, in some cases, the renaming of an existing term.
Effective with the release of UBCR, the term "Debt Rating" was renamed using the term "Issue Rating". Historically, the term "Debt Rating" reflected the assignment of an AMB credit rating opinion that could be applied to various issues that included both debt and other securities such as commercial paper or types of preferred securities with debt-like characteristics, but are not technically debt instruments. The move to the "Issue Rating" terminology provides additional clarity for the use and assignment of a debt or securities rating, i.e. "Issue Rating", as the broad connotation of the term "Issue" more accurately reflects its development and industry usage. In conjunction with the release of UBCR, AMB initiated an exercise to revise previously published terminology that has been effected though the release of the revisions included in UBCR. It is likely that, in some AMB publications or displays, including but not limited to: web displays, rating criteria, rating policy, special reports or other publications, the term "Debt Rating" may still be displayed. If present the term "Debt Rating" should be construed to be the term "Issue Rating" as defined in UBCR.