AM Best

A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Foresters Life Insurance Company and First Investors Life Insurance Company


Keith Behrmann
Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5733

Stephen Irwin
Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5454

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - JULY 01, 2015 09:30 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to "a+" from "a-" of Foresters Life Insurance Company (Foresters Life) and First Investors Life Insurance Company (First Investors) (New York, NY), the operating subsidiaries of The Independent Order of Foresters (Foresters). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICR of "a+" of Foresters. The companies are headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, unless otherwise noted. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The rating upgrades for Foresters Life reflect A.M. Best's view of the greater strategic importance given the continued integration of management and operations, and its identification with the Foresters' brand and business strategy in Canada. Foresters Life generates a high level of Foresters' earnings in Canada and its independent agents are the primary marketing representatives of Foresters' propriety products.

The rating upgrades for First Investors reflect its increasing significance to Foresters' overall business profile and financial position, offering geographic, product, distribution and earnings diversification. First Investors is expected to be a critical source of growth for Foresters in the United States due to the increasing demand for retirement products. The rating actions also reflect First Investors higher level of integration achieved since its acquisition, which now includes sales of certain Foresters life products.

The affirmation of Foresters' ratings reflects its geographic diversification, strong risk-adjusted capitalization and profitable insurance operations on a consolidated basis. Additionally, Foresters maintains a strong membership base of over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Offsetting these positive rating factors are the challenges of executing a business strategy with increased complexity, reducing expense overruns and maintaining profitability in the low interest rate environment.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. 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 visit A.M. Best's Ratings & Criteria Center.

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