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Best's rating changes.

This summary of Best's Rating Changes includes life, health-care and property/casualty insurers domiciled in North America, as well as international insurers that had ratings assigned, changed or placed under review since this section last appeared in the March 2004 edition of Best's Review.

Best's Rating Changes is an abbreviated version of Best's Rating Monitor, which is published in BestWeek, our weekly insurance industry newsletter. See page 14 for the current Guide to Best's Financial Strength Ratings or visit the A.M. Best Co. Web site at www.ambest.com/ratings/guide.html for detailed rating definitions.

The A.M. Best rating of any company and basic company information are also available free of charge at the Web site.
Ratings Changed

 Pre-
Rating Current vious
Action Company Name & Domicile AMB# Rating Rating

 Life/Health

 American Financial 07111 NR-5 g
 Security Life Ins Co
 US: Missouri

+ American Skandia Life 08715 A+ A
 Assurance Corp
 US: Connecticut

+ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin 64315 B++ B+ u
 US: Wisconsin

 Columbia Universal Life 09400 NR-3 A+
 Insurance Co
 US: Texas

- Continental Assurance Company 06280 A- A
 US: Illinois

 Delta Dental of Delaware 64642 NR-2 B+
 US: Delaware

 Delta Dental of District 64672 NR-2 B+
 of Columbia
 US: Dist. Of Columbia

 Delta Dental of West Virginia 64643 NR-2 B+
 US: West Virginia

 Guarantee Reserve Life 06502 NR-5 A-
 Insurance Company
 US: Indiana

- Guaranty Income Life 06504 B B+ u
 Insurance Company
 US: Louisiana

- Harleysville Life Insurance Company 06517 B++ A-
 US: Pennsylvania

 Keystone State Life 08960 NR-3 B+
 Insurance Company
 US: Pennsylvania

New MAMSI Life and Health 06046 A- NR-5
 Insurance Company
 US: Maryland

- Minnesota Life Insurance Company 06724 A+ A++
 US: Minnesota

+ Pruco Life Insurance Co of NJ 09371 A+ A
 US: New Jersey

+ Pruco Life Insurance Company 08240 A+ A
 US: Arizona

+ Prudential Insurance Co of America 06974 A+ A
 US: New Jersey

- Regence BlueCross 60074 B++ A-
 BlueShield of Oregon
 US: Oregon

- Regence Life and Health 09345 B++ A-
 Insurance Co
 US: Oregon

New S USA Life Insurance Company Inc 60110 A- NR-3
 US: Arizona

- Securian Life Insurance Company 09064 A A+
 US: Minnesota

 Surety Life Insurance Company 07109 NR-3 A+
 US: Nebraska

+ United Heartland Life 60054 B++ B+ u
 Insurance Company
 US: Wisconsin

 Universe Life Insurance Company 07205 NR-5 F
 US: Idaho

New WA Security Insurance Company 12651 A-
 US: Dist. Of Columbia

+ World Insurance Company 07262 B++ B+
 US: Nebraska

 HMO

+ Compcare Health Services Ins Corp 68610 B++ B+ u
 US: Wisconsin

New MD-Individual Practice 68606 A- B pd
 Association Inc
 US: Maryland

New Optimum Choice Inc 68764 A- B pd
 US: Maryland

New Optimum Choice of the Carolinas Inc 64030 A- C+ pd
 US: North Carolina

- Regence Health 68584 B++ A-
 Maintenance of Oregon
 US: Oregon

- Regence HMO Oregon 68583 B++ A-
 US: Oregon

+ Unity Health Plans 68781 B++ B+ u
 Insurance Corporation
 US: Wisconsin

+ Valley Health Plan Inc 68825 B++ B+ u
 US: Wisconsin

 Watts Health Foundation Inc 64151 NR-5 E
 US: California

 Property/Casualty

New Alea North America Specialty Ins Co 11432 A- NR-5
 US: Delaware

+ Bristol West Casualty 12404 B+ B
 Insurance Company
 US: Ohio

+ Bristol West Insurance Company 12461 B+ B
 US: Pennsylvania

New Bristol West Insurance Group 18131 B+
 US: Florida

- Claremont Liability 10653 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: California

 Coast National Group 18545 NR-5 B
 US: Florida

+ Coast National Insurance Company 00177 B+ B
 US: California

- Farmers Mutual Fire Ins 04736 B B+
 Co of Dug Hill
 US: Maryland

- Harleysville Insurance 03916 A- A
 US: Pennsylvania

- Harleysville Insurance Co of NJ 01921 A- A
 US: New Jersey

- Harleysville Insurance Company 00643 A- A
 US: Minnesota

- Harleysville Insurance 03656 A- A
 Company of NY
 US: New York

- Harleysville Insurance 11668 A- A
 Company of OH
 US: Ohio

- Harleysville Lake States 00603 A- A
 Insurance Co
 US: Michigan

- Harleysville Mutual 00462 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: Pennsylvania

- Harleysville Pennland 11087 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: Pennsylvania

- Harleysville Preferred 03779 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: Pennsylvania

- Harleysville Worcester 02483 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: Massachusetts

- Harleysville-Atlantic 00176 A- A
 Insurance Company
 US: Georgia

- Medical Insurance 03646 A- A
 Exchange of California
 US: California

- Mid-America Insurance Company 02827 A- A
 US: Pennsylvania

- MIEC Group 18016 A- A
 US: California

 National Farmers Union 04076 NR-5 A-
 Casualty Group
 US: Colorado

 National Farmers Union 04037 NR-5 A-
 Standard Ins Co
 US: Colorado

 Orleans General Ins Co 87773 B+ pd NR-5
 Canada: Quebec

+ Permanent General 11303 B++ B+
 Assurance Corp of OH
 US: Ohio

+ Permanent General 01894 B++ B+
 Assurance Corporation
 US: Tennessee

+ Permanent General Pool 18329 B++ B+
 US: Tennessee

+ Security National Insurance Company 10796 B+ B
 US: Florida

+ United Wisconsin Insurance Company 01932 B++ B+ u
 US: Wisconsin

- Wasatch Crest Mutual 10111 F E
 Insurance Company
 US: Utah

 West Newbury Mutual 02368 NR-5 A
 Fire Insurance Co
 US: Massachusetts

 International

- Allianz Suisse Lebensversicherungs 86461 A A+
 Switzerland

- Allianz Suisse Versicherungs 86462 A A+
 Switzerland

New Central Reinsurance Corporation 86496 A- NR-5
 Taiwan, Republic Of China

New Colina Insurance Company Limited 89077 A-
 Bahamas

New Inter-Ocean Group 83350 A
 Bermuda

New Jamaica International 83011 B++
 Insurance Co Ltd
 Jamaica

New Qatar General Ins & 85452 B++ NR-5
 Reins. Co (S.A.Q.)
 Qatar

New Steamship Mutual 89448 A-
 Underwriting Assoc Ltd
 United Kingdom

New Tower Insurance Limited 85484 A- NR-5
 New Zealand

Rating Action: (+) or (-) Rating upgraded or downgraded;
(New) Assigned initial rating; (u) Rating placed under review

Ratings Under Review

Rating Current Previous
Action Company Name & Domicile AMB# Rating Rating

 Life/Health

U American Reserve Life 07486 C+ u C+
 Insurance Company
 US: Oklahoma

U Arkansas National Life 07507 B++ u B++
 Insurance Company
 US: Arkansas

U Forethought Life 09053 A u A
 Insurance Company
 US: Indiana

U Liberty Bankers Life 07011 B u B
 Insurance Company
 US: Iowa

U United Transportation 08272 B+ u B+
 Union Ins Assn
 US: Ohio

U Valley Forge Life 07207 A u A
 Insurance Company
 US: Pennsylvania

Rating Action: (+) or (-) Rating upgraded or downgraded;
(New) Assigned initial rating; (u) Rating placed under review

GUIDE TO BEST'S FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATINGS

A Best's Rating is an independent opinion, based on a comprehensive
quantitative and qualitative evaluation, of a company's balance
sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. Best's
Ratings are not a warranty of a company's financial strength
and ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.

Financial Strength Ratings

A Best's Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an opinion of an insurer's
ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.
 Rating Descriptor Definition

Secure A++, A+ Superior Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a superior
 ability to meet their ongoing
 obligations to policyholders.
 A, A- Excellent Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, an excellent
 ability to meet their ongoing
 obligations to policyholders.
 B++, B+ Very Good Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a good ability
 to meet their ongoing
 obligations to policyholders.

Vulnerable B, B- Fair Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a fair ability
 to meet their current
 obligations to policyholders,
 but are financially vulnerable
 to adverse changes in
 underwriting and economic
 conditions.
 C++, C+ Marginal Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a marginal
 ability to meet their current
 obligations to policyholders,
 but are financially vulnerable
 to adverse changes in
 underwriting and economic
 conditions.
 C, C- Weak Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a weak ability
 to meet their current
 obligations to policyholders,
 but are financially very
 vulnerable to adverse changes
 in underwriting and economic
 conditions.
 D Poor Assigned to companies that have,
 in our opinion, a poor ability
 to meet their current
 obligations to policyholders
 and are financially extremely
 vulnerable to adverse changes
 in underwriting and economic
 conditions.
 E Under Assigned to companies (and
 Regulatory possibly their subsidiaries/
 Supervision affiliates) that have been
 placed by an insurance
 regulatory authority under a
 significant form of
 supervision, control or
 restraint whereby they are no
 longer allowed to conduct
 normal ongoing insurance
 operations. This would include
 conservatorship or
 rehabilitation, but does not
 include liquidation. It may
 also be assigned to companies
 issued cease and desist orders
 by regulators outside their
 home state or country.
 F In Assigned to companies that have
 Liquidation been placed under an order of
 liquidation by a court of law
 or whose owners have
 voluntarily agreed to liquidate
 the company. Note: Companies
 that voluntarily liquidate or
 dissolve their charters are
 generally not insolvent.
 S Suspended Assigned to companies that have
 experienced sudden and
 significant events affecting
 their balance sheet strength or
 operating performance and whose
 rating implications cannot be
 evaluated due to a lack of
 timely or adequate information.

Rating Modifiers and Affiliation Codes

A rating modifier can be assigned to indicate that a Best's Rating may
be subject to near-term change (under review), that a company did not
subscribe to Best's interactive rating process (public data) and that
the rating is assigned to a syndicate operating at Lloyd's.
Affiliation codes (g, p, and r) are added to Best's Ratings to
identify companies whose assigned ratings are based on group,
pooling or reinsurance affiliation with other insurers.

 Modifier Descriptor Definition

Rating u Under Review A modifier that generally is
Modifiers event-driven (positive,
 negative or developing) and is
 assigned to a company whose
 Best's Rating opinion is under
 review and may be subject to
 change in the near-term,
 generally defined as six
 months.
 pd Public Data Assigned to insurers that do not
 subscribe to Best's
 interactive rating process.
 Best's "pd" Ratings reflect
 qualitative and quantitative
 analyses using public data and
 information.
 s Syndicate Assigned to syndicates operating
 at Lloyd's.

 Affiliation g Group p Pooled r Reinsured
 Codes

Not Rated Categories (NR)

Assigned to companies reported on by A.M. Best, but not assigned a
Best's Rating. The five categories are:

NR-1: Insufficient NR-2: Insufficient NR-3: Rating
Data. Size and/or Procedure
 Operating Experience. Inapplicable.

NR-4: Company NR-5: Not Formally
Request. Followed.

Rating Outlook

Best's interactive Ratings (A++ to D) are assigned a Rating Outlook
that indicates the potential direction of a company's rating for
an intermediate period, generally defined as the next 12 to 36 months.
Rating Outlooks, which appear in the rating rationale section of the
company's Best's Company Report, are as follows:

Positive Indicates a company's financial/market trends are
 favorable, relative to its current rating level and, if
 continued, the company has a good possibility of having
 its rating upgraded.
Negative Indicates a company is experiencing unfavorable financial/
 market trends, relative to its current rating level and,
 if continued, the company has a good possibility of
 having its rating downgraded.
Stable Indicates a company is experiencing stable financial/market
 trends and there is a low likelihood that its rating will
 change in the near term.

Best's Ratings are distributed via press release and/or the A.M. Best
Web site at www.ambest.com, and are published in the Rating Monitor
section of BestWeek[R]. Best's Ratings are proprietary and may not be
reproduced without permission. Copyright [c] 2004 by A.M. Best
Company, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Ratings
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Illustration
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:1826
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