Press Release - MARCH 19, 2020

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of General Reinsurance Corporation and Its Subsidiaries

 Mariza Costa
Associate Director – P/C
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5154

Richard Francis
Senior Financial Analyst – L/H
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5152

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - MARCH 19, 2020
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa+” of General Reinsurance Corporation (headquartered in Stamford, CT) and its core property/casualty and life (re)insurance subsidiaries operating in the United States and internationally. These companies collectively are known as the General Re Group (Gen Re). (Please see below for a detailed listing of these companies and ratings.) In addition, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “aa+” of General Re Corporation (Delaware). Concurrently, the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” have been affirmed for IdeaLife Insurance Company (IdeaLife) (Stamford, CT), a subsidiary of General Re Life Corporation. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Gen Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, very favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). Gen Re has a global footprint with a well-diversified platform by geography and product offerings, including an international reach in the property/casualty and life business segments. This platform is supported by consistently superior risk-adjusted capitalization that has supported consistent operating performance over time. Premium growth has been driven by continual strengthening of existing relationships and the company’s ability to leverage its brand recognition and strong capital position throughout the world. Gen Re also maintains an extensive risk management program that oversees all aspects of risk throughout its worldwide operations. These positive rating attributes are further enhanced as a result of Gen Re being a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., providing additional financial flexibility and investment expertise.

Gen Re’s life operations primarily consist of individual life insurance and accident and health reinsurance lines of business. The life operations have grown in recent years and the investment portfolio has performed well. In October 2017, Gen Re Life entered into a 100% quota share with its affiliate, National Indemnity Company, covering the entirety of its long-term care liabilities. AM Best expects these life operations to remain an important source of income and diversification for Gen Re.

Negative rating actions could occur if Gen Re’s operating performance and risk-adjusted capitalization consistently fall below AM Best’s expectations for its current rating level for a prolonged period. Negative rating action could occur if the volatility in the equity markets leads to a significant drop in surplus that prevents the company from maintaining expected risk-adjusted capital levels.

The ratings of Idealife reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM.

The FSR of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term ICRs of “aa+” have been affirmed for General Reinsurance Corporation and its following core property/casualty and life reinsurance/insurance subsidiaries:

  • General Re Life Corporation

  • General Reinsurance Australia Ltd.

  • General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd.

  • General Reinsurance AG

  • General Reinsurance Africa Ltd.

  • General Star Indemnity Company

  • General Star National Insurance Company

  • Genesis Insurance Company

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.

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