The ratings for the property/casualty unit recognize its strong capitalization, consistent trend of favorable operating performance, successful multiple-channel distribution network and extensive market expertise.
Additional positive rating factors include the property/casualty unit’s geographic diversification and the marketing advantage it derives from the established brand name recognition of MetLife. Furthermore, the ratings acknowledge management’s focused operating strategy, extensive product knowledge and multiple distribution channels. The companies have consistently generated capital through disciplined underwriting, solid pre-tax operating income and strong total investment returns. The ratings also recognize the financial strength and support provided by MetLife.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the property/casualty unit’s moderately elevated underwriting leverage, a dividend policy that constrains its surplus growth and exposure to severe weather-related events.
Positive rating actions could occur following a significant improvement in operating performance or change in business profile that results in a proportionally larger contribution by the property/casualty operation to the overall earnings of MetLife. Negative rating actions could occur following a sudden, unexpected and material decline in the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization, a sustained deterioration in its operating performance or diminished liquidity measures.Key rating drivers that may lead to positive rating actions on the life/health subsidiaries include a consistent ability to outperform peers, diminished risk profile and capital improvement at the operating company. Key rating drivers that may lead to negative rating actions include a sustained material deterioration in operating performance, material impairments or realized losses in the investment portfolio or diminished key capital, leverage, coverage and liquidity ratios. For a complete list of MetLife, Inc. and its subsidiaries' FSRs, ICRs and debt ratings, please www.ambest.com/press/112808metlife.pdf . The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.