AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Constellation Insurance, Inc. and Its AuguStar Life Group Subsidiaries
October 24, 2023 by AM Best
OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 AuguStar Life Insurance Company (ALIC) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AuguStar Life Assurance Corporation (together referred to as AuguStar Life Group). These companies are the principal insurance subsidiaries of Constellation Insurance, Inc. (Constellation). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” (Excellent) of National Security Life and Annuity Company (NSLAC). Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” (Good) of Constellation. Finally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IRs) of Constellation and ALIC. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. All companies are headquartered in Cincinnati, OH. (See below for a detailed listing of the Long-Term IRs.)
The ratings of AuguStar Life Group reflect the group’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 (ERM).
Included in this ratings affirmation is the acknowledgement of the rebranding of the Ohio National Life Insurance Company to AuguStar Life Insurance Company and Ohio National Life Assurance Company to AuguStar Life Assurance Corporation effective in the fourth quarter of 2023. AM Best has observed changes since the demutualization efforts concluded in 2022, where the parent company committed $500 million in capital support to acquire and build its business inorganically. The added capital is expected to support the AuguStar Life Group’s newly acquired Prudential variable annuity (VA) business in the first half of 2023 and its Chilean subsidiary’s acquisition of an annuity block from Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. The latter deal is expected to close in early 2024. Management has been strategically positioning the rebranding effort to coincide with its launching of new annuity products in 2023 through existing and new distribution relationships.
The group has maintained a strongest assessment of its Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) and the balance sheet exhibits strong liquidity ratios and asset liability management. There is an element of risk with its use of affiliated captives and capital has been augmented through its use of surplus notes and debt held at Constellation, which has a modest level of financial leverage.
The ratings of NSLAC reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, very limited business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings also reflect the financial strength and support of parent, AuguStar Life Group. The company has managed its business risk of the run-off VA block well; however, this has been done through reinsurance. The subsidiary remains well-capitalized and maintains ample liquidity to manage the company’s current and future financial obligations. The company continues to execute on its business plan with the leadership of Constellation. AM Best expects AuguStar Life Group to grow its business through profitable premium expansion organically and opportunistically through inorganic opportunities.
The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with stable outlooks:
Constellation Insurance, Inc.—
— “bbb+” (Good) on $425 million 5.55% senior unsecured notes, due January 2030
— “bbb+” (Good) on $250 million 6.625% senior unsecured notes, due May 2031
AuguStar Life Insurance Company—
— “a-” (Excellent) on $50 million 8.50% surplus notes, due May 2026
— “a-” (Excellent) on $250 million 6.875% surplus notes, due June 2042
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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