OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Ratings to B++ (Good) from B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings to “bbb” from “bbb-” of Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company (Oklahoma City, OK), and its wholly owned life insurance subsidiaries, The Capitol Life Insurance Company (Dallas, TX) and American Benefit Life Insurance Company (Oklahoma City, OK), together known as the Liberty Bankers Group. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.
The rating upgrades reflect Liberty Bankers Group's trend of increasing absolute capital with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 9.0% and improvement in balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best views as strong. Liberty Bankers Group's improved risk-adjusted capital reflects profitable operations, successful entrances into new markets, as well as a few acquisitions in recent years. Recent new markets include Medicare Supplement and single premium whole life as an estate planning tool. In terms of acquisitions, the company acquired a Lincoln Memorial Life Insurance Company block of business in 2017, which is expected to lower its concentration in the annuity business.
A.M. Best remains concerned with Liberty Bankers Group’s relatively high level of commercial mortgage loans, in absolute terms and in relation to capital and surplus, as well as the elevated leverage at the holding company level, but notes the group’s expertise with mortgage loans. Moreover, the Liberty Bankers Group has higher-than-average exposure to NAIC Class 2 investment grade bonds.
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