DCR: CENTURY LIFE OF AMERICA CLAIMS PAYING ABILITY RATING UPGRADED FROM 'AA-' TO 'AA'
Reaffirmed at 'AA'
CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Claims Paying Ability Rating
Reaffirmed at 'AA'
CHICAGO, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) has upgraded the claims paying ability rating of Century Life of America (CLA) from 'AA-' (Double-A-Minus) to 'AA' (Double-A) and reaffirmed the claims paying ability ratings of both CUNA Mutual Insurance Society (CUNA Mutual) and its wholly owned property and casualty subsidiary, CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. (CUMIS) at 'AA' (Double-A).
CLA has integrated a majority of its operations with CUNA Mutual over the last five years, and the rating upgrade reflects DCR's view of CLA and CUNA Mutual as a combined entity, and DCR's belief that CLA's increasingly close ties with CUNA Mutual will ultimately result in the merger of the two companies. CUNA Mutual and CLA entered into a "permanent affiliation" in 1990. As a result, the companies currently share common senior management, select board members, integrated operations, and strong financial ties due to reinsurance agreements. In addition, the board of directors for both CUNA Mutual and CLA each adopted a resolution expressing intent to merge the companies as soon as practical.
CUNA Mutual's very high claims paying ability rating continues to be supported by the company's strong market franchise in the credit union market place, adequate capitalization, and good asset quality. The rating also takes into consideration certain challenges CUNA Mutual faces that may pressure its rating going forward. The employee benefits division, which has historically been a good source of earnings for the company, is poorly positioned to compete in the health insurance market due to CUNA Mutual's limited managed care capabilities. Not only will the reduction in earnings need to be replaced, but more importantly, the inability to provide competitive health insurance to credit unions may allow competitors an opportunity to enter the credit union marketplace. Also, the joint marketing program done in conjunction with CLA, known as PLAN AMERICA, which distributes life and annuity products to credit union members, has fallen short of profitability targets and is being revitalized.
CUMIS's very high claims paying ability rating reflects the company's very profitable and consistent results in a well-defined market, high quality investment portfolio, strong capitalization, and a history of favorable loss development. The rating also takes into consideration the company's heavy concentration in a narrow segment of the property and casualty market, and the company's relatively small size when compared with other property/casualty companies in the 'AA' (Double-A) ratings class.
/CONTACT: John F. Bareiss, 312-368-3162, or Keith M. Buckley, CFA, 312-630-4674, both of Duff & Phelps/
CO: Century Life of America; CUNA Mutual Insurance Society;
CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. ST: Iowa IN: INS SU: RTG
PS -- NYM095 -- 0154 11/13/95 11:30 EST