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Nationwide Downgraded By Fitch

Nationwide has had several of its companies’ annuity safety ratings downgraded by Fitch Ratings. Fitch puts the blame largely on the privatization of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company’s (NMIC) life insurance operations, which resulted in decreased capital availability and flexibility. Investment losses in 2008 and predicted for this year also contributed to Fitch downgrading Nationwide. 

Important rankings from the Fitch press release:

  • The Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings for NMIC, Nationwide Life Insurance Company of America (NWLA), and Nationwide Life Insurance Company (NWL) have slipped from AA- to A+.
  • Fitch’s Rating Outlook for Nationwide is now Negative.
  • Nationwide Financial Services’ (NFS) senior unsecured debt has had its rating downgraded to BBB+ from A-.
Nationwide Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Life Insurance Company of America write variable annuities, some with guarantees. They require greater reserves to cover those attached guarantees.
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