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.
Best's Credit Ratings are independent opinions regarding the creditworthiness of an issuer or debt obligation. Best's Credit Ratings are based on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile, or, where appropriate, the specific nature and details of a debt security. 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.
For more detailed information regarding each of these types of ratings, read our guides for Financial Strength, Issuer Credit, or Debt Ratings.
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 Property/Casualty SRQ Questions
In an effort to provide more time to all parties associated with the completion of A.M. Best'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 2014 release. The new requests for information include the impact of a +/-300 basis point change in interest rates on the fixed income portfolio in the analysis of interest rate sensitivity (1), the number of bond issuers for each rating and maturity period in the fixed income portfolio analysis(3b), statistical information from the Common Stock Portfolio Analysis (3c), and Gross Premiums Written in Other Countries(14).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. In addition to these changes, questions on the following topics were removed from the SRQ: Contingent Commissions, Verification of Data, Sensitivity Analysis, Asbestos, Pollution, Other Mass Tort Exposures, and Enterprise Risk Management. 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, extension 5644 or 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.
Rating Activity, Research and News
The following sections outline the most recent coverage of Best's Ratings, related News articles, Special Reports & Statistical Studies. For complete news coverage, visit our NewsRoom.