Fitch Report: Statutory Capital Declines for Most U.S. Life Insurers

Source: Fitch Ratings
Business Wire
June 26, 2009

NEW YORK-- U.S. life insurers have experienced a significant deterioration in investment results in 2008, negatively affecting industry earnings and capital, as discussed in a Fitch Ratings report.

Statutory capital levels were volatile in 2008 for life insurers compared with expectations and prior years' experience. For the 25 largest U.S. life insurance groups, the average decline in reported statutory capital was 13% in 2008. However, changes ranged from an increase of 11% to a decline of 52% for individual groups. This compares with an average annual increase of 6% over the previous five years and just a 1% decline during the last market and economic downturn of 2001 and 2002.

In the report, Fitch reviews statutory capital and risk-based capital ratio changes experienced in 2008 for the largest 25 U.S. life insurance groups, which represent over 80% of industry admitted assets. Statistical tables detail the components of statutory capital changes. Capital quality is also analyzed as the benefit of domicile state permitted/prescribed accounting practices are quantified.

In addition, capital contributions are assessed to understand the capital profile excluding recent management actions.

To access this Special Report, 'Analyzing Changes in Statutory Capital for U.S. Life Insurers', please visit the Fitch Ratings web site at '' under Insurance > Special Reports.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, ''. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.

Fitch Ratings:

Julie A. Burke, CPA, CFA, +1-312-368-3158 (Chicago)
Douglas L. Meyer, CFA, +1-312-368-2061 (Chicago)
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549 (Media Relations, New York)

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