OLDWICK, New Jersey, November 09, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer’s long-term credit rating (long-term ICR) of “a+” (Excellent) from Standard Insurance Company (Portland, OR) and of its subsidiary, The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York (White Plains, NY), together called Standard Insurance Group (The Standard). In addition, AM Best confirmed the long-term ICR of “bbb+” (good) of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (StanCorp Financial) (Portland, OR), the intermediary holding company of The Standard. The outlook for these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
At the same time, AM Best confirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the long-term ICR of “a” (Excellent) of Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Limited (Pacific Guardian) (Honolulu, HI). The outlook for these ratings is stable.
The Standard’s ratings reflect the strength of its balance sheet, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
AM Best rates The Standard’s risk-adjusted capital as strong, as measured by Best’s capital adequacy ratio (BCAR). The level of capital followed a growth trend until 2020; however, fell in 2021, but is expected to improve for 2022. Annual dividends were paid to support debt hedging at StanCorp Financial and upstream to its ultimate parent, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company (Meiji Yasuda ), more than four of the last five years. About two-fifths of The Standard’s invested assets are held in commercial mortgages with a concentration of West Coast lending. The Standard is the direct underwriter of mortgages and has strong historical underwriting capabilities based on its long history as a loan originator. The mortgage portfolio is currently doing well.
Standard continues to show favorable operating results with recent double-digit premium growth and has been on a profitable trend with some fluctuation. The Standard maintains a good diversification of activities between mortality and morbidity products, in addition to asset management. AM Best notes that The Standard retains its top 10 positions in the market for group long-term disability, individual disability, group short-term disability and group life products. The Standard has a comprehensive and well-developed ERM program. The organization maintains a good governance structure, risk management and appropriate controls.
Pacific Guardian’s ratings reflect the strength of its balance sheet, which AM Best rates as the strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM.
Pacific Guardian continues to maintain a high level of risk-adjusted capital. Historically, dividends have been paid consistently to the parent company and have been closely tied to the prior year’s net profit, although AM Best notes that no dividends have been paid in 2021 or in the six first months of 2022. Pacific Guardian also has a high allocation of nearly two-fifths of invested assets to commercial mortgages, which are underwritten primarily by its subsidiary, The Standard. The company currently has no outstanding debt; however, has access to a line of credit for its short-term liquidity needs. After several years of fluctuating premiums, Pacific Guardian experienced significant growth in 2022, driven by sales of its Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA) product. Net losses were reported in 2020 and 2021 after years of profitable operations. The recent net loss was due to a federal tax burden caused by the addition of policy administration system depreciation to taxable income. AM Best notes that the company is one of Hawaii’s largest and most valued group life and disability insurance companies and maintains a leadership position in the Temporary Disability Income (TDI) market. ). Pacific Guardian launched a MYGA product in 40 states in late 2021. The company has also expanded its licenses to 46 states and the District of Columbia.
The Standard and Pacific Guardian’s ratings reflect the financial strength of their parent company, Meiji Yasuda, and the strategic role The Standard and Pacific Guardian play in the Meiji Yasuda organization.
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