- This is generally the third- or fourth-highest rating that a rating agency assigns to a security or insurance carrier. It is often the lowest investment-grade rating, but it signifies that the issuer is fairly stable with relatively low default risk.
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.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.