The most recent quarterly financial safety ratings from The Street.com Ratings (formerly Weiss Research ratings) include a number of structured settlement annuity issuers:
Allstate Life Insurance Company A-
American General Life Insurance Company B+
John Hancock Life Insurance Company A
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company A
Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company B+
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company B+
New York Life Insurance Company A
New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (NY Life qualified assignment company)
Pacific Life and Annuity Company A
USAA Life A
Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC) A-
Ratings agencies such as Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moodys have recently come under fire from regulators such as Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-California) who is Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. On October 22, 2008 the committee held a hearing "Credit Rating Agencies and Financial Crisis in which the aformentioned agencies actions leading up to the financial crisis were examined. The objectivity of these agencies was called into question given the fact that they are compensated by the entities they rate.
On the other hand, The Street.Com expressly states "we don't accept compensation from the companies we rate for issuing the rating. Nor do we give the companies an opportunity to preview the ratings or suppress their publication if they're unfavorable. We are totally independent and unbiased because our loyalty is to you -- the customer".
Every quarter, The Street.Com Ratings evaluates the financial strength of more than 13,000 institutions, including life, health, and annuity insurers, property and casualty insurers, HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, banks, and savings and loans. In addition, it tracks the risk-adjusted performance of over 20,000 mutual funds and more than 6,000 stocks.
What may be surprising to the AIG "hacky sack dancers" is that both American General Life and former structured annuity issuer VALIC are on the list.
The Street.Com gives consumers, tort victims, potential and existing structured settlement annuity recipients, property casualty insurers, their attorneys, judges and the media a different perspective.