OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian Life) (New York, NY) and its core subsidiaries, Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (Wilmington, DE) and Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America (Pittsfield, MA) (together referred to as Guardian). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) of “aa-” of Guardian Life’s existing surplus notes. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the Long-Term IRs.)
The ratings reflect Guardian’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and very strong enterprise risk management (ERM).
The group has maintained a solid risk-based capital profile in addition to a Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) at the strongest level. Guardian’s capital profile is enhanced further through access to capital markets through its moderate use of surplus notes to support its business. Guardian has leverage ratios that AM Best considers appropriate for the group’s credit profile. The company’s capital profile is supported by a conservative investment portfolio, which has performed well thus far through the financial turbulence currently experienced by the financial markets this year. AM Best expects future volatility in Guardian’s investment performance should the current market conditions continue to experience stress, particularly within the companies’ lending programs.
Guardian benefits from its strong market position in all of its core business segments, which supports the group’s strong operating performance, as measured by premium metrics, investment returns and underwriting performance. Guardian’s balance sheet and operating performance consistency are based on a historically lower risk profile embedded in the company’s ERM program. The company is actively managing its exposure to credit-related risk as part of its ERM process and has demonstrated the ability to withstand prolonged credit exposure should it worsen.
The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with stable outlooks:
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America—
-- “aa-” on $400 million 7.375% surplus notes, due 2039
-- “aa-” on $450 million 4.875% surplus notes, due 2064
-- “aa-” on $300 million 3.70% surplus notes, due 2070
-- “aa-” on $350 million 4.85% surplus notes, due 2077
Guardian Life Global Funding – “aa+” program rating
--“aa+” on all outstanding notes issued under the program
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