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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Removes From Under Review and Downgrades Credit Ratings of Knights of Columbus

[January 12, 2018]

A.M. Best Removes From Under Review and Downgrades Credit Ratings of Knights of Columbus

A.M. Best has removed from under review with negative implications and downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A+ (Superior) from A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to "aa" from "aa+" of Knights of Columbus (the Order) (New Haven, CT). The outlook assigned to the Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings were placed under review with negative implications on Oct. 13, 2017, following the release of the updated Best's Credit Rating Methodology (BCRM). The ratings have been removed from under review as A.M. Best has completed its analysis of the Order under the updated BCRM.

The rating downgrades reflect A.M. Best's opinion that the rating fundamentals of the Order as analyzed under the updated BCRM are supportive of the revised Long-Term ICR. The ratings reflect the Order's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and adequate enterprise risk management.

Despite the downgrade, A.M. Best believes that the Order still has a superior ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations. The Order has a long-established presence as a fraternal benefit society, a strong market presence in the Catholic community enhanced by its full-time captive agency force, a large network of local councils and a stable membership base. The ratings also recognize its strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, enhaced by the good overall credit quality of its investment portfolio, which is well-diversified, a defined asset-liability management program and a reserve profile concentrated in whole life insurance, which is viewed as highly creditworthy on A.M. Best's product continuum.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. 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 A.M. Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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