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Rating Agency Eyes Fortis

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NU Online News Service, Jan. 28, 3:22 p.m. – The London office of Moody’s Investors Service says it is reviewing the insurance financial strength ratings of Fortis Benefits Insurance Company, Kansas City, Mo., because of concerns about the effects of the world stock slump on its parent companies, Fortis S.A./N.V., Brussels, and Fortis N.V., Utrecht, Netherlands.

Fortis Benefits now has a rating of Aa3.

The U.S. unit’s rating is so high partly because of the “significant amount of implicit support” that it gets from its parent companies, Moody’s says.

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Moody’s says it could end up lowering the ratings of the parent companies one notch.

But Moody’s has reaffirmed the A2 insurance financial strength rating of a second Fortis unit, John Alden Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee.