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Life Insurance Company Ratings

Recent economic conditions have underscored the importance of knowing your life insurance provider’s financial rating. While some companies have slipped, many remain strong. Use this list of top 50 life insurance company ratings to find a solid provider. All scores come from A.M. Best, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch — the four top financial rating institutions.

The best life insurance companies of 2009 according to A.M. Best are:

  • New York Life: A++, stable outlook
  • Mass Mutual: A++, stable outlook
  • State Farm: A++, stable outlook
  • Geico: A++, stable outlook

Stable A+ companies include: Metlife, John Hancock, Mutual of Omaha, and Jackson National.

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Company:A.M. Best:Moody’s:S&P:Fitch:
21st CenturyAAA+
American GeneralAA1A+A-
Banner LifeA+AA-
American NationalAAA-
Axa EquitableAAa3AAAA-
Colonial PennBBa2BB-BB+
Empire GeneralA
Genworth LifeAA2AA-
Hartford LifeAA3AA-
Integrity LifeA+Aa3AA+AA
Kansas City LifeAA
Jackson NationalA+A1AA
Jefferson NationalB-
John HancockA+Aa3AA+AA
Liberty MutualABaa1A-A-
Lincoln NationalA+A2AA-A+
Mass MutualA++Aa1AAA
Midland NationalA+A+A
Monumental LifeAA1AA-AA
Mutual of OmahaA+Aa3
Nationwide LifeA+A1A+A
New York LifeA++AaaAAAAAA
North AmericanB+A+A
Ohio NationalA+
Old MutualAA1BBB-
Pacific LifeA+A1AA-AA-
Penn MutualA+Aa3
Standard LifeAAA+
State FarmA++Aa1AA+
The TravelersAA2AA-AA
West Coast LifeA+A2AA-A+
Zurich AmericanAAA-A+

*Company ratings as of 07/24/2009. Subject to change without notice.
** A dash (-) indicates that the company wasn’t rated or ratings were out-of-date.

A.M. Best Rating Explanations

A++, A+SuperiorAble to meet insurance obligations.
A, A-ExcellentAble to meet insurance obligations.
B++, B+GoodAble to meet insurance obligations.
B, B-FairVulnerable to unfavourable economic conditions.
C++, C+MarginalVulnerable to unfavourable economic conditions.
C, C-WeakVery vulnerable to unfavourable economic conditions.
DPoorExtremely vulnerable to unfavourable economic conditions.
EUnder SupervisionCompany is under regulation, preventing normal business operations.
FIn LiquidationCompany is ongoing voluntary liquidation.
SSuspendedUnevaluated due to inadequate information or lack of cooperation.

Moody’s Rating Explanations

AAAExtremely StrongMarket conditions are unlikely to affect a fundamentally strong position.
AAVery StrongHigh-grade company with marginally larger long-term risks.
AStrongFinancially secure, but signs of possible long-term susceptibility.
BaaAdequateLacking in certain protective elements over the long term.
BaQuestionableAbility to meet obligations is questionable.
BPoorLong-term ability to meet obligations on time is small.
CaaVery PoorMay be in default of financial obligations already.
CaExtremely PoorIn default of financial obligations.
CExtremely PoorVery poorly positioned to offer financial security.

S&P Rating Explanations

AAAExtremely StrongVery unlikely to be affected by adverse economic conditions.
AAVery StrongUnlikely to be affected by adverse economic conditions.
AStrongMarginally more likely to be affected by adverse economic conditions.
BBBGoodMay be affected by adverse business conditions.
BBMarginalAdverse business conditions may lead to inability to meet obligations.
BWeakAdverse business conditions are likely to affect ability to meet obligations.
CCCVery WeakDepends on favourable business conditions to meet obligations.
CCExtremelyLikely to not meet all financial obligations.
RRegulatory ActionSubject to regulation due to insolvency.
NRNot RatedNo opinion.

Fitch Rating Explanations

AAAExceptionally StrongVery unlikely to be affected by adverse economic conditions.
AAVery StrongNot significantly vulnerable to adverse economic conditions.
AStrongLow expectation for interruption of payments.
BBBGoodMay be affected by adverse economic conditions.
BBModerately WeakContractual obligations are now vulnerable.
BWeakSignificant risk for interruption of payments.
CCCVery WeakStrong likelihood for interruption of payments.
CCExtremely WeakInterruption of payments is probable.
CDistressedInterruption of payments is imminent.

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