AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” (Excellent) of the life/health insurance subsidiaries of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (headquartered in Carmel, IN) [NYSE: CNO]. These subsidiaries are referred to collectively as CNO Financial Group (CNO). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb” (Good) and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of CNO Financial Group, Inc. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and Long-Term IRs.)
The ratings reflect CNO’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The affirmation of the ratings is based on the strong assessment of CNO’s favorable and consistent operating gains, which draw upon the diversification of its product line offerings across its insurance brands of Washington National, Bankers Life and Colonial Penn. Additionally, the returns from investment income are a strong contributor to the stability of earnings since 2018. These gains have supported a strong assessment of the group’s risk-adjusted capital as measured by AM Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) and its regulatory capital. AM Best has observed strong liquidity measures in the group and holding company, where the latest reported cash and cash equivalents at third-quarter 2022 was $498 million. The financial flexibility, also viewed positively by AM Best, is nimble with access to the capital markets through CNO Financial Group, Inc. and the member companies of the group having membership in the Federal Home Loan Banks, which has lent itself to spread lending opportunities.
CNO’s business profile is diversified across retirement, life and accident and health insurance offerings. Product sales and distribution are well positioned through CNO’s diversified distribution channels including direct-to-consumer, exclusive agents and worksite opportunities. All of this has been accomplished despite CNO operating in a landscape of formidable competition and external pressures that include the strains of selling products during the COVID-19 pandemic. CNO has managed its risks well and has operated and maintained its position within its target markets over the past few years.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a” (Excellent) have been affirmed with stable outlooks for the following key life/health subsidiaries of CNO Financial Group, Inc.:
- Bankers Life and Casualty Company
- Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company
- Washington National Insurance Company
The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with stable outlooks.
CNO Financial Group, Inc.—
--“bbb” (Good) on $500 million 5.25% senior unsecured notes, due 2025
--“bbb” (Good) on $500 million 5.25% senior unsecured notes, due 2029
--“bbb-” (Good) on $150 million 5.125% subordinated debentures, due 2060
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM 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 see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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