S&P Upgrades CNA Financial Strength Rating to A+

November 19, 2019

CNA Financial Corp. has achieved an “A+” financial strength rating from Standard & Poor’s, an upgrade made in recognition of the Chicago-based insurer’s efforts to improve its operations and culture.

S&P Global Ratings made the upgrade from an initial “A” Rating. The ratings firm also raised CNA’s long-term issuer credit rating to “A-” from “BBB+.” The insurer’s outlook is stable.

“The upgrade recognizes CNA’s operating performance, earnings stability and market presence commensurate with its ‘A+’ peers,” S&P said in its notice. “The company is among the top 10 commercial primary insurers in the U.S. Since 2016 [it] has deepened its underwriting culture, effectively realigned with distribution partners, actively reduced expense and reconstructed its underwriting portfolio, increasing its focus on specialized products while contracting certain non-performing standard commercial lines.”

Standard & Poor’s noted that the company has made accomplishments in a number of areas including underwriting controls, actuarial analytics and claims management. As well, S&P credited CNA with stabilizing its operational/technology infrastructure and centralizing its processes.

Additionally, CNA earned praise for investing in top talent “to further enhance underwriting acumen and precision on risk selections.”

S&P said the firm has achieved 10 consecutive quarters of strong underwriting results.

S&P added that it expects CNA to remain competitive, thanks to its investment in advanced data analytics and reporting tools, as well as what CNA called its increased culture of accountability.

CNA booked $107 million in net income during the 2019 third quarter. The number would have been higher, save for a $170 million charge involving deficient active life premium reserves on a long-term-care book, “primarily driven by lower discount rate assumptions.”

Source: Standard & Poor’s

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