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Life Insurers, Reinsurers Get Thumbs up from Moody’s

Posted on 01 Jun 09

Top rating agency Moody’s last week issued an optimistic note about the life insurance/life reinsurance industry, stating that it is strong and solvent. Moody’s stated its capital and liquidity stress test showed that even in a worsening market that could result in further downgrades, insurers are likely to retain investment grade ratings.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, Moody’s said that life insurers “are considered to be fit enough to weather the financial and economic crisis because of their solid balance sheets,” proven by Moody’s own stress test that shows insurers are most likely to retain investment grade ratings.

Moody's life insurance ratings cover more than 30 companies, and include life insurers such as Allstate Life Insurance Co., and Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd., a unit of U.K.-based Legal & General Group PLC, reports WSJ.

Likewise, brokerage Helvea said the world's top five reinsurers, which include Munich Re and Swiss Reinsurance, are likely to benefit from continued healthy demand in the life insurance sector that is expected to grow at more than 4% annually in years to come.

Cathy Weatherford, CEO and president of NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, responded, “NAVA has been saying from the beginning of this economic crisis that insurers are strong and will weather this economic storm. Moody’s positive outlook shows that Americans should remain confident in our industry and turn to insured retirement solutions to bolster their retirement security. Annuity products and other insured retirement solutions continue to provide a measure of safety and peace of mind critical in today's uncertain environment.”