What is A.M. Best Rating for Insurance?

am best ratings
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    Are you like most shoppers – trying to figure out what is the best life insurance company for your situation? Are you concerned about life insurance company bankruptcies and the possibility that they won’t be around in the future? If you’re shopping for life insurance, you’re guaranteed to see the name A.M. Best. We’ll explain exactly what an A.M. Best rating is. In this post, we’ll show you how it grades the top life insurance companies so you can feel confident they’ll be around now and in the future.

    A.M Best

    The A.M. Best Company is often seen as the top financial and insurance companies ratings firm. There are several others, but A.M. Best is the gold standard.

    A.M. Best gives consumers the ability to quickly research who are the best life insurance companies in the marketplace. 

    It’s a good thing too. Do you want to research the 800+ life insurance companies in the United States? …I don’t either.

    They did all our homework for us. A.M. Best ranks and grades the majority of companies for shoppers like you. It also allows the life insurance companies to see where they need to improve.

    What is A.M. Best Rating?

    The A.M. Best Rating is their grading system. It is a grading scale based on a company’s financial strength and financial future. 

    Here’s a common situation…

    You’re comparing 3 life insurance companies that are competitively priced. Who do you choose?

    Look at their A.M. Best Rating and see who has the best grade. You’ll be able to quickly see which companies have an excellent rating and which carriers are struggling.

    AM Best Rating

    am best rating scale

    Here is the A.M. Best rating scale. It will show you exactly what their grades mean in order to make sure you’re applying with a stable life insurance company.

    A++, A+SuperiorLife insurance companies with these ratings, in our opinion, are some of the top carriers in the market.
    A, A-ExcellentThese life insurance companies are very stable. We believe they exhibit a positive outlook with meeting long term obligations.
    B++, B+GoodWhile stable, these companies can improve; They are able to meet their insurance responsibilities now, but their future is not known.
    B, B-FairThese life insurance companies have some improvements to make; Their ability to meet future insurance responsibilities is fair; Financial stability is vulnerable to the economy and may not be the ideal choice.
    C++, C+MarginalLife insurance companies with these ratings are encountering some kind of financial uncertainity. It’s possible that they have difficulty dealing with their ongoing insurance responsibilities. Shoppers should be cautious.
    C, C-WeakThese companies show a poor ability to meet financial and insurance responsibilities. They’re vulnerable to the economy and changes to underwriting. These companies are not recommended when buying life insurance.
    DPoorThese life insurance companies show a poor ability to meet financial and insurance responsibilities. Their financial stability is very vulnerable to changes in the economy. Financial distress has occured and they’re weak financially. Insurers with a D rating are usually not a good fit for life insurance.
    EUnder Regulatory SupervisionThese life insurance companies are being investigated or under regulatory supervision –  but are not liquidated.
    FIn LiquidationThis rating is give to life insurance companies who are being liquidated by a court of law in order to pay off debts.
    SSuspendedThese companies cannot be judged because of a lack of information or time. They are no longer accepting new applications or taking on new customers.

    A.M. Best Ratings For Insurance Companies

    Remember, there are over 800 life insurance companies in the United States. Which insurance companies have the best ratings? Who are the financially “strong” carriers?

    Checklist of Some “A” Rated (or Better) Life Insurance Companies

    This company list definitely isn’t complete. There are many more highly rated life insurance companies on our site than shown in our list below. We’ve put together a quick list of some of the most popular companies that provide excellent value with their life insurance products. Check out our “checklist” of some of the best available “A” rated life insurance carriers.


    A.M. Best A++ Rating

    Life Insurance CompanyA.M. Best Ratings
    Guardian LifeA++
    Haven LifeA++
    Mass MutualA++
    State FarmA++

    AM Best A+ Rating

    Life Insurance CompanyA.M. Best Ratings
    AXA EquitableA+
    Brighthouse FinancialA+
    Costco Life InsuranceA+
    Globe LifeA+
    John HancockA+
    Lincoln FinancialA+
    Midland NationalA+
    Minnesota LifeA+
    Mutual of OmahaA+
    New York LifeA+
    North AmericanA+
    Pacific LifeA+
    Penn MutualA+
    Primerica LifeA+
    Principal LifeA+
    William PennA+

    AM Best A Rating

    Life Insurance CompanyA.M. Best
    American GeneralA
    American National ANICOA
    ING ReliastarA
    National Life GroupA

    a.m. best insurance ratings Can Change

    AM Best insurance ratings aren’t a “one and done” grade. In fact, AM Best ratings are frequently updated.

    This is helpful for consumers and for companies already with good ratings (and poor ones too).

    The reason? 

    If a company has an excellent rating, they can’t just sit back and become irresponsible. On the flip side, a poorly rated company has a chance to improve their financial strength and get a better rating next time.

    It’s not uncommon for a company’s rating to drop after a rough economic season.  The good news is that these downgrades are hopefully temporary and won’t last last more than a couple rating periods.

    Is this really important?

    Of course it’s great to get an A, A+ or A++ company right? Sure, but at the end of the day, does it really matter?

    We believe it does. You want to be confident that your life insurance company will be around in the future when you need it most!

    A.M. Best ratings are a great way for you to know if you can trust that a life insurance company will have the future cash to pay out a death claim. Poor financial strength = Chance of bankruptcy. Do you really want to gamble on that?

    Avoid this Shopping Mistake!

    Here’s our basic rule of thumb…

    If possible, always purchase your life insurance policy from with an A.M. Best rating of A or better. If you’re relatively healthy, you’re going to be able to purchase life insurance from multiple companies.

    Don’t buy policies from lesser rated companies unless you have no other options.

    Make sure to get several quotes and request what the A.M. Best ratings are for those companies. You can even ask to only provide “A” rated or better carriers.

    A weak life insurance company doesn’t need to be an option because you have choices. Don’t get stuck with a bad company and gamble your family’s future.

    How can you make sure you’re getting the best company?

    That’s simple. At Life Insurance Blog, we’re here to help. We’re an independent life insurance broker who has access to over 60 of the best rated companies! We can help you find the best deals available from the top A.M. Best rated companies today.

    We’ll save you time and the aggravation of trying to research companies on your own. We’ll do it for you and let you know all your options. Once you decide what is best for your family, we’ll help you apply easily online or over the phone.

    So let us know how we can help. If you have any questions about A.M. Best, life insurance companies, or products – give us a call. You can even get started now with a free instant quote.

    Michael Quinn

    Michael Quinn

    Michael is a licensed life insurance agent, expert & owner of Life Insurance Blog. LIB has helped thousands of shoppers understand life insurance and secure affordable coverage.

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