How often do you track your stock portfolio? Daily? Monthly? Or, have you stopped looking altogether? Now, how often do you track your insurance portfolio? If you have purchased life insurance in the past, you may have checked the ratings for your insurer at the time of purchase. However, ratings change and if you do not monitor the health of your insurer, you may end up disappointed should your insurer collapse.
The Florida Insurance Law Blog highlighted this issue recently when one of their attorneys learned that the Virginia Department of Insurance had placed Shenandoah Life, the insurance company from which he had purchased a Universal Life insurance policy, under receivership.
A.M. Best rates the credit of insurance companies. You can review their ratings of insurance companies with a free registration. For the insurer in question, A.M. Best had downgraded their financial strength rating from A- (Excellent) to B++ (Good) on September 26, 2008. Two months later, A.M. Best placed their rating under review pending a proposed merger between OneAmerica and Shenandoah Life. The day after OneAmerica terminated its letter of intent concerning the proposed merger, the State Corporation Commission of Virginia was appointed as a receiver for Shenandoah Life.
To avoid getting surprised, visit the Best’s Ratings & Analysis Center to see the state of your insurer.