Rating in the United States

Rating Definition

In Commerce. The estimate put on the credit and financial resources of a person. There are various institutions or persons who furnish ratings. They are called “mercantile agencies.” In Shipping. The order or class of a vessel according to her magnitude or force. This definition of Rating is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary .

Insurance Ratings

There are five leading companies that rate the financial soundness of insurance companies. The rating companies are: A.M. Best; Standard & Poor’s; and Fitch (formerly Duff & Phelps); Weiss; and Moody’s.

A.M. Best ratings are published in Best’s Insurance Reports, which also provides considerable additional information about the company. There are separate editions for Life-Health, Property-Casualty and International companies. Alternatively you can get individual Best ratings (or company reports or news articles) through the A.M. Best web site or through Lexis (COMPNY;AMBEST). For historical data or special orders, contact the Best’s Custom Data Services (908-439-2200 ext. 5383).

You should be able to get the current Standard & Poors rating from the S&P website. In addition, I believe that Standard & Poor’s ratings are published in the Insurer Solvency Review (there is a Life/Health edition and a Property/Casualty edition) and/or Standard & Poor’s Insurance Rating Analysis. Alternatively, you may still be able to call Standard & Poor’s (212-205-1527) and get up to 5 free ratings over the telephone (I haven’t tried in years).

Fitch ratings are available through FitchRatings.com.

Weiss ratings are available through TheStreet.com and WeissRatings.com.

Moody’s ratings are available through the Moodys.com.

Historical Ratings: You can get historical ratings by looking in old editions of the publications mentioned above. In addition, I believe that ratings by Duff & Phelps (the predecessor to Fitch Ratings) were published in their Insurance Claims Paying Ability Rating Guide. NYPL Premium Services (800-456-6975) can send you copies from oldBest’s volumes, except for a few missing years. You can also check the Insurance section of old editions of the Mergent (formerly “Moody’s”) “Bank and Finance” series.

See Also

A.M. Best
Debt Ratings
Insurance Companies
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Standard & Poor’s

Concept of Adjusted Community Rating in Health Insurance Law

In this context, the following is a definition of Adjusted Community Rating: A way of pricing insurance where premiums are not based upon a policyholder’s health status, but may be based upon other factors, such as age and geographic location. PPACA requires the use of adjusted community rating, with maximum variation for age of 3:1 and for tobacco use of 1.5:1.

Rating: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Rating. This part provides references, in relation to Rating, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Rating by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Rating and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Rating or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Rating and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Rating. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Rating should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Rating when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

Leave a Comment