Standard Insurance Group and Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Limited

OLDWICK, NJ, November 9, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–am the best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” (Excellent) from Standard Insurance Company (Portland, OR) and its subsidiary The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York (White Plains, NY), collectively referred to as Standard Insurance Group (The Standard). In addition, AM Best has confirmed the long-term ICR of “bbb+” (good) for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (StanCorp Financial) (Portland, OR), the intermediate holding company of The Standard. The outlook of these credit ratings (ratings) is Stable.

At the same time, AM Best has certified the FSR of A (excellent) and long-term ICR of “a” (excellent) of Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Limited (Pacific Guardian) (Honolulu, HI). The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings from The Standard reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best rates as strong, strong operational performance, favorable business profile and adequate Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).

AM Best rates The Standard’s risk-adjusted capital as strong as measured by Best’s capital adequacy ratio (BCAR). however, fell in 2021 but is projected to improve for 2022. Annual dividends have been paid in four of the last five years to support debt coverage at StanCorp Financial and to be upstream to its ultimate parent, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company (Meiji Yasuda). About two-fifths of The Standard’s invested assets are held in commercial mortgage loans, with a majority of loans on the West Coast. The Standard is the direct underwriter of the mortgage loans and has historically strong underwriting capabilities due to its long history as a lender. The mortgage portfolio is currently doing well.

The standard continues to report favorable operating results with recent double-digit premium growth and a trend in profitability with some volatility. In addition to wealth management, the standard maintains good business diversification between mortality and morbidity products. AM Best notes that The Standard holds top 10 market positions in long-term group disability insurance, individual disability insurance, short-term group disability insurance and group life insurance products. The standard has a comprehensive and well-developed ERM program. The organization maintains a good governance structure, adequate risk management and controls.

Pacific Guardian ratings reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best ranks as the strongest, reasonable operating performance, limited business profile and reasonable ERM.

Pacific Guardian continues to maintain a high level of risk-adjusted capital. Historically, dividends have been consistently paid to the parent company and have been closely tied to the prior year’s net income, although AM Best notes that no dividend was paid in either 2021 or the first six months of 2022. Pacific Guardian also has a high allocation of nearly two-fifths of invested assets to commercial mortgage loans, written primarily by its subsidiary, The Standard. The company currently has no outstanding debt; however, has access to a line of credit for short-term liquidity needs. After several years of erratic premiums, Pacific Guardian experienced significant growth in 2022, fueled by sales of its Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA) product. After years of profitable operations, net losses were reported in 2020 and 2021. The most recent net loss was due to a federal tax expense caused by adding the depreciation of the policy administration system to taxable income. AM Best notes that the company is one of the largest and most respected group life insurance and group disability carriers in Hawaii and holds a market leadership position in the temporary disability income (TDI) market. Pacific Guardian launched a MYGA product in 40 states in late 2021. The company has also expanded its licensing to 46 states and the District of Columbia.

The Standard and Pacific Guardian ratings reflect the financial strength of their parent company, Meiji Yasuda, and the strategic role The Standard and Pacific Guardian play in the Meiji Yasuda organization.

This press release relates to ratings published on AM Best’s website. All ratings information relating to the press release and relevant disclosures, including details of the issuing authority for each rating referenced in this press release, can be found at AM Best Last review activity site. For more information on the use and limitations of rating opinions, see Best Credit Ratings Guide. Information on the proper use of Best’s credit ratings, Best’s performance ratings, Best’s preliminary credit ratings and AM Best press releases can be found here Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company operates in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information visit www.ambest.com.

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Jeffrey Lane
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908.439.2200, extension 5567
[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey
manager, public relations
+1 908.439.2200, extension 5159
[email protected]

Sally Rosen
Senior Director
+1 908.439.2200, extension 5280
[email protected]

Al Slawin
communication specialist
+1 908.439.2200, extension 5098
[email protected]

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