Weiss Ratings


Life and Health Insurers' Profits Jump 214%
During First Half of 2003
Industry Records $28.6 Billion Increase in Capital and Surplus

JUPITER, Fla., November 19, 2003 — With the economy recovering and the stock market up, profits of the nation's life and health insurers jumped $7.2 billion, or 214 percent, to $10.6 billion in the first six months of 2003, according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks.

Driving the industry's steep profit increase was a $9 billion reduction in money flowing out of variable annuity accounts, which fell to $14.2 billion for the first half of 2003, compared to $23.2 billion for the same period in 2002. Life and health insurers reporting the largest reductions in variable annuity outflows were:

Company

Headquarters

Weiss Safety Rating

Net Transfers to (from) Separate Accounts ($Mil)

2nd Qtr 2003

2nd Qtr 2002

$ Change

Allmerica Financial Life & Annuity

Worcester, Mass.

D

(1,396.3)

625.2

(2,021.6)

Golden American Life Ins Co.

Wilmington, Del.

B-

1,291.1

2,958.5

(1,667.4)

Allstate Life Ins Co.

Northbrook, Ill.

A-

116.3

1,073.7

(957.3)

Travelers Life & Annuity Co.

Hartford, Conn.

B-

316.3

1,120.6

(804.3)

Pacific Life Ins Co.

Newport Beach, Calif.

A-

(360.5)

431.1

(791.6)

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak

"The economic rebound has been a boon to insurers' investment portfolios," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "The assets backing variable annuity products have been faring better so insurers haven't had to transfer capital into separate accounts."

Industry Capital and Surplus Surges
The recent rise in the equity market produced a $6.6 billion unrealized gain for the industry, contributing to an increase in capital and surplus of 12.7 percent, from $225.8 billion as of June 30, 2002, to $254.5 billion at June 30, 2003. Life and health insurers reporting the largest increases in capital and surplus were:

Company

Headquarters

Weiss Safety Rating

Capital & Surplus ($Mil)

2nd Qtr 2003

2nd Qtr 2002

$ Change

Metropolitan Life Ins Co.

New York, N.Y.

B+

7,811.4

5,944.3

1,867.1

American General Life Ins Co.

Houston, Texas

B+

3,331.5

1,635.4

1,696.1

Sunamerica Life Ins Co.

Los Angeles, Calif.

B-

3,762.4

2,284.4

1,478.0

Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins Co.

Springfield, Mass.

A

6,514.6

5,248.8

1,265.8

New York Life Ins Co.

New York, N.Y.

A

8,780.3

7,615.2

1,165.1

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak

"The increase in capital and surplus reflects the upturn in the equity market," added Ms. Gannon. "With the improvement in asset values, insurers have not had to dip into capital to maintain reserves as they previously were."

Notable Upgrades and Downgrades
Among the 947 insurers recently reviewed by Weiss, 124 companies were upgraded and 33 were downgraded. Notable upgrades include:
  • Allstate Life Insurance Co. (Ill.)
  • Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America (Minn.)
  • American Skandia Life Assurance Corp. (Conn.)
from B+ to A-
from C+ to B-
from D+ to C
Notable downgrades include:
  • Jamestown Life Insurance Co. (Va.)
  • North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. (N.C.)
  • American Life Insurance Co. of New York (N.Y.)
from B to C+
from C to D+
from C+ to D+

The Weiss Safety Ratings are based on an analysis of a company's risk-adjusted capital, five-year historical profitability, quality of investments, liquidity, and stability. The latter category combines a series of factors including asset growth, premium growth, strength of affiliate companies, and risk diversification.

Weiss issues safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including insurance companies, banks, and brokerage firms. Weiss also rates the risk-adjusted performance of more than 12,000 mutual funds and more than 8,000 stocks. Weiss Ratings is the only major rating agency that receives no direct or indirect compensation from the companies it rates for issuing its ratings. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products to consumers, institutions, businesses, libraries, and governmental agencies.

Consumers needing more information on the financial safety of a specific company can purchase a rating and summary analysis for as little as $7.95 through www.WeissRatings.com, or starting at $15 by calling 800-289-9222.

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