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 Activityweb page.
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