AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of CMFG Life Insurance Company (CMFG Life) and MEMBERS Life Insurance Company (MEMBERS Life). Both companies are life/health subsidiaries of CUNA Mutual Holding Company (CUNA Mutual) and collectively referred to as CMFG Life Group. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a+” of CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc., CUMIS Specialty Insurance Company, Inc., and CUMIS Mortgage Reinsurance Company. These companies are property/casualty subsidiaries of CUNA Mutual and collectively referred to as CUMIS. Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb+” of TruStage Financial Group, Inc., an intermediate holding company of CUNA Mutual. Lastly, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Rating of “a-” on the $85 million 8.5% surplus notes due 2030, issued by CMFG Life. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. All operating companies are domiciled in Iowa, but headquartered in Madison, WI.
The ratings of CMFG Life Group reflect its 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).
CMFG Life is the lead life and annuity writer of CMG Life Group and also continues to be a leading provider of life and annuity products within the credit union marketplace. CMFG Life’s balance sheet is supported by consistently increasing absolute and risk-adjusted capitalization, and modest financial and operating leverage. However, AM Best notes that there is moderate exposure to higher risk assets within the investment portfolio. The company has reported consistently strong operating results on a statutory and U.S. GAAP basis, supported by favorable growth in its annuity products issued through MEMBERS Life.
The ratings of CUMIS reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM.
The rating actions also reflect CUMIS’ favorable level of risk-adjusted capitalization, profitable operating results, and well-established niche position in the credit union segment. The ratings also factor in the benefits CUMIS derives from the operational support, shared market opportunities and financial flexibility provided by its parent, CMFG Life.
These rating actions take into consideration the announcement on March 9, 2021 that the CUNA Mutual Holding Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the prearranged funeral insurance and final expense business of Assurant, Inc. for approximately $1.3 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The acquisition will provide the group accretive earnings with both product and distribution channel diversification benefits.
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