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Best's Credit Ratings

A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating agency dedicated to serving the insurance industry. It began assigning credit ratings in 1906, making it the first of today's rating agencies to use symbols to differentiate the relative creditworthiness of companies.

The primary objective of Best's Credit Ratings within the insurance segment is to provide an opinion of the rated entity's ability to meet its senior financial obligations, which for an operating insurance company are its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. The assignment of an interactive rating is derived from an in-depth evaluation of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile, as compared with A.M. Best's quantitative and qualitative standards. View the complete Best's Credit Rating Methodology (BCRM).

A.M. Best assigns the following types of ratings:

  • Best's Financial Strength Rating - an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. This rating is assigned to insurance companies.
  • Best's Issuer Credit Rating - an independent opinion of an issuer/entity's ability to meet its ongoing senior financial obligations. This rating is assigned to insurance companies and related holding companies and other legal entities authorized to issue financial obligations.
  • Best's Debt Rating - an independent opinion of an issuer's ability to meet its ongoing financial obligations to security holders when due. This rating is assigned to the debt securities and insurance-linked securities transactions of the entities rated by A.M. Best.
  • Best's National Scale Rating - a relative opinion of an insurance company's financial strength rating within a single country.

For more detailed information regarding each of these types of ratings, read our guides for Financial Strength, Issuer Credit, or Debt Ratings and our criteria report for National Scale Rating.

Best's Credit Ratings are not a warranty, nor are they a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any securities, insurance policies, contracts or any other financial obligations, nor do they address the suitability of any particular financial obligation for a specific purpose or purchaser. For complete details, read this Important Notice.

Special Notice: Updated and New Life & Annuity and Health SRQ Questions for U.S. L/H Insurers
In an effort to provide more time to all parties associated with the completion of A.M. Best's Life & Annuity and Health Supplemental Rating Questionnaires (SRQ), a subset of the SRQ containing the new and revised questions is being made available ahead of the 2015 release. The new requests for information include your organization's board/senior management approved risk appetite and risk tolerance statement(s), request for the split between Employer Sponsored and Voluntary employee paid premiums for Total Net Premiums Written and First Year Premiums for ancillary lines of business and Cyber Risk Insurance Purchased . Additionally, the Health (only) SRQ also requests the classification of Working Capital Finance Notes. For more information, or if you have questions, please contact your analyst.

Special Notice: Updated and New Life/Accident & Sickness SRQ Questions for Canadian LAS Insurers
In an effort to provide more time to all parties associated with the completion of A.M. Best's Canadian Life/Accident & Sickness Supplemental Rating Questionnaires (SRQ), a subset of the SRQ containing the new and revised questions is being made available ahead of the 2015 release. The new requests for information include your organization's board/senior management approved risk appetite and risk tolerance statement(s) and Cyber Risk Insurance Purchased. For more information, or if you have questions, please contact your analyst.

Special Notice: Updated and New Property/Casualty SRQ Questions for U.S. P/C Insurers
In an effort to provide more time to all parties associated with the completion of A.M. Best's U.S. Property/Casualty Supplemental Rating Questionnaire (SRQ), a subset of the SRQ containing the new and revised questions is being made available ahead of the 2015 release. The new requests for information include your rating unit's board/senior management approved risk appetite and risk tolerance statement(s), estimated amounts at the 20 Year loss return period for natural catastrophe analysis (20a and 20b), the estimated impact from Casualty catastrophes based on deterministic loss scenarios analyzed by management (22d), gross and net loss estimates at various return periods if Probabilistic Loss Modeling is performed for terrorism exposures (41d), and Cyber Risk Insurance Sold and Cyber Risk Insurance Purchased (49 to 51). Changes to the Death Benefit Table (42a, b, c, and 43a, b, c) were made to reflect the most recent benefit information available by state. For more information, or if you have questions, please contact your analyst.

Special Notice: Updated and New Canadian Property/Casualty SRQ Questions
In an effort to provide more time to all parties associated with the completion of A.M. Best's Canadian Property/Casualty Supplemental Rating Questionnaire (SRQ), a subset of the SRQ containing the new and revised questions is being made available ahead of the 2015 release. The new requests for information include your rating unit's board/senior management approved risk appetite and risk tolerance statement(s), estimated amounts at the 20 Year loss return period for natural catastrophe analysis (26a and 26b), the estimated impact from Casualty catastrophe's based on deterministic loss scenarios analyzed by management (27c), and Cyber Risk Insurance Sold and Cyber Risk Insurance Purchased (37, 37A, 37B). For more information, or if you have questions, please contact your analyst.

Usage of Best's Ratings

Best's Credit Ratings are proprietary and may not be reproduced without permission from A.M. Best. A company assigned a Best's Credit Rating should review the Guide to Proper Use, which outlines the acceptable parameters of the use of these ratings.
 
All queries regarding the use of proprietary information or to obtain a licensing agreement or a letter of consent should be directed to:
A.M. Best Company, Office of Intellectual Property
Ambest Road, Oldwick, New Jersey 08858

Phone: (908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
E-mail:
James.Peavy@ambest.com.

View our Legal and Licensing information for details on the use of A.M. Best trademarks, logos and service marks.

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