APRIL 30, 2012 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Sentry Life Insurance Company and Sentry Life Company of New York
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDWICK, N.J. - APRIL 30, 2012 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings to aa- from a of Sentry Life Insurance Company (Stevens Point, WI) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Sentry Life Company of New York (Syracuse, NY), collectively referred to as Sentry Life (SLIC). The outlook for all ratings is stable. SLIC is owned by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company (SIAMCO) (Stevens Point, WI).
The rating upgrades reflect SLICs integrated business plan, which is shared with the other subsidiaries of SIAMCO, as well as its increasing contributions to the overall group, consistently positive statutory operating results and superior risk-adjusted capitalization. SLIC has been successful in consistently growing its core line of business over the past five-year period. Given its strong niche in serving and cross-selling to SIAMCOs property/casualty based customers, SLICs growing group annuity business for funding defined contribution plans along with full service capabilities to the employers marketplace has provided diversification and increasing contributions to the overall group.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the highly competitive business environment within the retirement market arena and SLICs continued challenge to grow premium across other lines of business.
While the current ratings are viewed as stable in the near term following these upgrades, SLICs ratings may face pressure if unfavorable operating trends should deteriorate going forward or if there are negative rating actions taken on the ratings of SIAMCO and its property/casualty companies.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Bests Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Bests rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Key criteria utilized include: Rating Members of Insurance Groups. Bests Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
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