OLDWICK, NJ–(BUSINESS THREAD)–AM Best upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to B++ (Good) from B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “bbb” (Good) from “bbb-” (Good) of Lewer Life Insurance Company (Lewer Life) (Kansas City, MO). The outlook of these credit ratings (ratings) has been revised from positive to stable.
These ratings reflect Lever Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best rates as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, very limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The rating upgrades reflect the improvement in Lever Life’s ERM program, which has evolved over the past two years into a more formalized process with an appropriate framework. The company identified a chief risk officer internally and implemented numerous ERM initiatives, which favorably impacted various aspects of its risk assessment, including documented risk appetite and tolerances.
Lever Life’s balance sheet strength rating of very strong is based on its strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), partially offset by a relatively low level of absolute capital and surplus. Adequate operating performance reflects pre-tax net operating profits reported in four of the past five years, with moderate pre-tax results reported in 2021, driven by COVID-19 vaccination and testing claims for the 2020/2021 policy year, as well as the prepayment of claims before premium collection. The company’s fluctuating net premium over the past few years has been driven by travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the international student population studying in the US during 2020 and part of 2021 and, to a much lesser extent, ‘ a continuous decrease in life insurance and annuity premium from redemptions and dental group premium. Lever Life’s very limited business profile reflects its nominal market share and premium concentration in the highly competitive international student health insurance market, which has significant exposure to regulatory, event and market risks.
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