NU Online News Service, Oct. 18, 2004, 3:03 p.m. EDT

Moody’s Investors Service, New York, has listed concentration of annuity distribution as a possible insurance company risk factor.[@@]

The rating agency has assigned an A3 rating to $150 million in senior notes issued by Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala. The notes will pay an interest rate of 4.875% and mature Nov. 1, 2014.

Protective is a leading term life issuer with a manageable level of financial leverage, and it has shown that it is good at acquiring blocks of business and other insurance companies, Moody’s says. Protective also has a high-quality bond portfolio, plenty of capital and plenty of access to cash, Moody’s says.

But Moody’s cites the company’s exposure to reinsurance as one risk and exposure to commercial mortgage loans as a second risk.

The fact that Protective Life distributes the majority of its annuities through a single independent broker-dealer is another risk, Moody’s says.