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A.M. Best Removes from Under Review and Upgrades Ratings of Starmount Life Insurance Company | Business Wire

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has removed from under review with positive

implications and upgraded the financial strength rating to A-

(Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the issuer credit rating to “a-” from

“bbb+” of Starmount Life Insurance Company (Starmount) (Baton

Rouge, LA). The outlook assigned to each rating is stable.

The rating actions follow Unum Group’s (Unum) completed

acquisition of Starmount and its holding company parent, H & J Capital,

LLC. The transaction closed on Aug. 2, 2016. A.M. Best expects

Starmount’s management team and organizational structure to remain

intact with additional plans for a more concentrated – albeit – national

expansion through Unum’s distribution channels for its group dental and

vision business lines. The rating upgrades primarily reflect Starmount’s

favorable overall operating performance in recent periods, as well as

the increased financial flexibility and potential operational

efficiencies to be gained as part of Unum. A.M. Best notes that

Starmount remains a leading independent dental and vision benefits

company that is expected to add to Unum’s employee benefits product

portfolio and distribution platform, and further strengthen the

company’s ability to compete in the employee benefits market.

While Starmount is licensed in 49 states and the District of Columbia,

A.M. Best notes that a material amount of business is concentrated in

the Southeastern United States. However, Starmount has worked to

diversify its operations in recent years and the company should benefit

as a result of Unum’s plans to increase the company’s geographic

presence going forward. While Starmount’s earnings have been modestly

impacted by fees associated with healthcare reform in recent periods,

A.M. Best notes that loss ratios have been relatively steady and expects

earnings to remain favorable over the near to medium-term. Going

forward, Starmount’s business strategy is expected to continue to be

focused in the group dental and vision product lines.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on

A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the

release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office

responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in

this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent

Rating Activity web page.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance

rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2016 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. ALL RIGHTS

RESERVED.

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