Annuity Company Ratings: Can You Count On Them?

Do fixed annuity insurer ratings accurately reflect the true financial strength of the insurer? The question has been circulating in the wake of the financial downturn of 2008 and agents are looking for answers.

To find out, Advantage Compendium looked to the historical record for some insight. The answer that the St. Louis consulting and research firm has uncovered is not what many would have had expected, based on today’s prevailing economic uncertainty and the generalized antagonism toward rating companies in general.

Rating agencies have “missed” some insolvencies in the past, allows Jack Marrion, president of Advantage Compendium. But their track record has improved in the past 15 or so years to the point where he believes that their overall performance is positive.

That’s important for agents to know, especially now that rating agencies are coming out with new rating actions for 2012, and some are downgrades.

People want to know how safe fixed annuity carriers are, says Marrion. The conclusion he has reached has become the title of a new report from his firm: “The Fixed Annuity Industry Is Not Going to Fail.”

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