This is generally the highest rating assigned to a non-investment grade security or carrier. This rating signifies that the security or carrier is not creditworthy enough to be considered as an investment, and is therefore considered speculative. Investors or policyowners are taking a higher level of risk with this entity.


The ratings assigned by the various ratings agencies are based primarily upon the insurer's or issuer's creditworthiness. This rating can therefore be interpreted as a direct measure of the probability of default. However, credit stability and priority of payment are also factored into the rating.

  1. A/A2

    Usually the second- or third-highest rating that a rating agency ...
  2. Moody's

    An independent, unaffiliated research company that rates fixed ...
  3. Standard & Poor's - S&P

    The world's leading index provider and the foremost source of ...
  4. Ratings Service

    A company, such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's, that rates ...
  5. Fitch Ratings

    An international credit rating agency based out of New York City ...
  6. Encumbrance

    A claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. ...
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  1. Do dividends affect working capital?

    Regardless of whether cash dividends are paid or accrued, a company's working capital is reduced. When cash dividends are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do prepayments provide working capital?

    Prepayments, or prepaid expenses, are typically included in the current assets on a company's balance sheet, as they represent ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are high yield bonds a good investment?

    Bonds are rated according to their risk of default by independent credit rating agencies such as Moody's, Standard & ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>

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