Standard & Poor’s Long-Term Insurer Financial Strength Rating Scale*
An insurer rated 'AAA' has extremely strong financial security characteristics. 'AAA' is the highest insurer financial strength rating assigned by Standard & Poor's.
An insurer rated 'AA' has very strong financial security characteristics, differing only slightly from those rated higher.
An insurer rated 'A' has strong financial security characteristics, but is somewhat more likely to be affected by adverse business conditions than are insurers with higher ratings.
An insurer rated 'BBB' has good financial security characteristics, but is more likely to be affected by adverse business conditions than are higher-rated insurers.
An insurer rated 'BB' or lower is regarded as having vulnerable characteristics that may outweigh its strengths. 'BB' indicates the least degree of vulnerability within the range; 'CC' the highest.
An insurer rated 'BB' has marginal financial security characteristics. Positive attributes exist, but adverse business conditions could lead to insufficient ability to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'B' has weak financial security characteristics. Adverse business conditions will likely impair its ability to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'CCC' has very weak financial security characteristics, and is dependent on favorable business conditions to meet financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'CC' has extremely weak financial security characteristics and is likely not to meet some of its financial commitments.
An insurer rated 'SD' (selective default) or 'D' is in default on one or more of its insurance policy obligations but is not under regulatory supervision that would involve a rating of 'R'.The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action if payments on a policy obligation are at risk. A 'D' rating is assigned when Standard & Poor's believes that the default will be a general default and that the obligor will fail to pay substantially all of its obligations in full in accordance with the policy terms. An 'SD' rating is assigned when Standard & Poor's believes that the insurer has selectively defaulted on a specific class of policies but it will continue to meet its payment obligations on other classes of obligations. A selective default includes the completion of a distressed exchange offer. Claim denials due to lack of coverage or other legally permitted defences are not considered defaults.
An insurer rated 'R' is under regulatory supervision owing to its financial condition. During the pendency of the regulatory supervision, the regulators may have the power to favor one class of obligations over others or pay some obligations and not others. The rating does not apply to insurers subject only to nonfinancial actions such as market conduct violations.
An insurer designated 'NR' is not rated, which implies no opinion about the insurer's financial security.
*Ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.