Supreme Knight’s Statement on S&P’s Downgrade of AAA-Rated Insurers in the United States

The action taken by Standard and Poor’s on Monday, August 8, does not reflect in any way on the business operations or performance of the Knights of Columbus. S&P’s action – as their statement indicates – was caused by the downgrade of the rating of the United States in response to this country’s debt crisis. According to S&P’s statement on the methodology for their decision “the U.S. sovereign credit rating constrains the long-term ratings on these U.S. insurers.” S&P’s latest release cites the “very strong financial profiles” and “favorable business profiles” of the Knights of Columbus and other insurers affected by their rating revision. In addition, they cite the benefit the Knights of Columbus has from our “affinity relationships with our policyholders.”

Because of our sound and ethical business practices and investment strategies, the Knights of Columbus is stronger today relative to the industry than it was five years ago. Over the past five years, the life insurance industry as a whole has seen a 6.8 percent decrease in sales. But during that same time, Knights of Columbus life insurance sales have grown by 20.7 percent. Since the financial crisis began in 2008, we have improved both operational performance and the credit quality of our investments. We continue to have the highest rating possible from A.M. Best (A++) and the highest rating S&P is able to give to any insurance company based in the United States (AA+). In short, there continues to be no more highly rated insurer in the United States than the Knights of Columbus, and our members can continue to have the highest confidence in our performance as a company and in the safety of the money that they have entrusted to us.

Video of the Supreme Knight’s statement is also available on


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