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CORRECTING and REPLACING AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Independence Holding Company and Its Subsidiaries

The end of the second paragraph of release dated December 17, 2019 should read: appropriate enterprise risk management (instead of adequate enterprise risk management).

The corrected release reads:


AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of "a-" for the subsidiaries of Independence Holding Company (collectively referred to as Independence Holding Company Group) (headquartered in Stamford, CT) [NYSE:IHC]. (See below for a detailed list of companies). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of "bbb-" of Independence Holding Company. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Independence Holding Company Group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

The group maintains the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, based on a combination of its Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, as well as other favorable balance sheet metrics, including its liquidity measures at both the operating and holding company.

The composition of the business has changed over the last few years, with premium growth, primarily driven by incremental changes to the NY Paid Family Leave product, as well as new sales of short-term medical and pet insurance. The transition to these higher margin businesses has driven positive net operating gains, along with favorable underwriting performance and loss ratios.

Since the group’s exit from the medical stop-loss business in 2016, it has focused on profitably growing premium as a niche market carrier in its remaining specialty health and group benefits products, which includes short-term medical, hospital indemnity, NY Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and Paid Family Leave (PFL), short-term and long-term disability, pet insurance, group life, group limited benefit medical & GAP, dental and vision, as well as other products. Competition in the supplemental health and group benefits markets remains highly elevated, which may somewhat hinder the group’s growth in these markets. In addition, AM Best believes the uncertain regulatory and legislative environments could negatively impact some of the group’s specialty health lines of business, such as short-term medical.

The ERM program of Independence Holding Company Group remains appropriate. The plan sets forth a strong risk culture and governance, ongoing discipline and risk identification, and has continued to evolve its ERM over the past year, adding more sophisticated risk and contingency plans.

The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of "a-" have been affirmed for the following members of the Independence Holding Company Group:

  • Independence American Insurance Company
  • Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc.
  • Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York

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 media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Antonietta Iachetta
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5792

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159


Joseph Zazzera, MBA
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5797

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644