A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent), the issuer credit rating (ICR) to “aa-” from “a+” and the existing debt ratings of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (IA) (Quebec) [TSX: IAG]. Concurrently, A.M. Best has upgraded the FSR to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the ICRs to “a” from “a-” of IA’s U.S. life insurance subsidiaries, IA American Life Insurance Company (Atlanta, GA), American-Amicable Life Insurance Company of Texas, Pioneer Security Life Insurance Company, Pioneer American Insurance Company and Occidental Life Insurance Company of North Carolina (these companies are collectively known as the IA American Life Group). Additionally, A.M. Best has upgraded the ICR to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) of Industrial Alliance Pacific General Insurance Corporation (IAPG) (Vancouver, Canada). All companies are domiciled in Waco, TX, unless otherwise specified. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the debt ratings.)
The rating upgrades for IA reflect its strong capital growth, consistent profitability, reduced exposure to interest-sensitive businesses and the growing product diversity in its business. A.M. Best notes that IA has continued to report favorable capital levels and has continued to record more manageable financial leverage. Net income trends have been favorable, although results in recent years have been volatile due to the Canadian accounting/regulatory regime being highly sensitive to the sustained low interest rate environment and volatile equity markets. However, IA has successfully reduced its individual life new business strain ratio in its efforts to prudently manage earnings volatility. The ratings also recognize IA’s continued efforts to diversify its business profile and earnings stream in Canada (via its 2013 acquisition of Jovian Capital Corporation, thus providing an enhanced private wealth management platform) and through the IA American Life Group in the United States.
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