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Best’s News & Research Service - December 16, 2015 04:08 PM (EST)

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

  • December 16, 2015 04:08 PM (EST)

Oldwick //BestWire// - A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings of “aa-” of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, United of Omaha Life Insurance Company, Companion Life Insurance Company (New York, NY) and United World Life Insurance Company. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the issue ratings of “a” on the group’s existing surplus notes. The outlook for all ratings is stable. The companies (collectively referred to as Mutual of Omaha) are located in Omaha, NE, unless otherwise specified.

The rating affirmations reflect Mutual of Omaha’s leadership position in the Medicare Supplement market, as well as a provider of life and annuity business and group benefit options. The organization continues to maintain more-than-adequate risk-adjusted capitalization for its level of insurance and investment-related risks. Additionally, Mutual of Omaha’s historically favorable operating results have been supported by its diverse product suite and distribution channels, as well as its good enterprise risk management practices. This trend continued into 2015 as Mutual of Omaha reported favorable operating results that reflect profitable earnings in its core Medicare Supplement business, modestly offset by volatility reported with the company’s life segment earlier in the year. Furthermore, the company’s group benefits and retirement plan divisions earnings were in line with A.M. Best’s expectations. Consistent with industry peers, Mutual of Omaha utilizes operating leverage to supplement earnings and to fund redundant reserves. A.M. Best views the company’s operating and financial leverage as manageable, with solid interest coverage supported by its diversified sources of cash flows.

A.M. Best notes that the organization has a somewhat higher all-in exposure to commercial real estate than some of its peers. This includes affiliate, East Campus Realty LLC (ECR), who oversees the Midtown Crossing at Turner Park property, as well as commercial loans at the insurance entities and with Mutual of Omaha Bank, potentially exposing the company to concentration risk. However, Mutual of Omaha has historically managed these assets prudently, and any volatility related to their performance has not resulted in deterioration of the company’s continued adequate risk-adjusted capital position. Additionally, Mutual of Omaha Bank has been a material contributor to the enterprise’s earnings in recent years. A.M. Best will continue to monitor the performance of the bank, as well as ECR for potential stresses on Mutual of Omaha’s operating results and capital levels. Furthermore, over 40% of the company’s GAAP revenue is generated by its Medicare Supplement line of business, exposing it to market and regulatory risks, which could materially impact pricing and have an unfavorable impact on operating results. Persistent statutory losses within certain life blocks have been driven by reserve strengthening and strain, both due to increased sales as well as Regulation XXX and Guideline AXXX reserving.

The following issue ratings have been affirmed with a stable outlook:

Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

— “a” on $300 million 4.297% surplus notes, due 2054

— “a” on $300 million 6.95% surplus notes, due 2040

— “a” on $300 million 6.80% surplus notes, due 2036

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.

A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.

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