The financial strength of the Wesleyan Assurance Society has earned the 162-year-old Birmingham insurer another accolade.
It came out top of the UK life offices in a major survey by Money Management, the journal for professional financial intermediaries.
The survey looked at the financial strength of life offices under the new " realistic accounting" rules imposed last December by the Financial Services Authority.
The higher the "free asset ratio", or FAR, the greater the financial strength of the life office and the greater its ability to withstand future threats to policyholders' bonuses and invest their money freely.
Wesleyan, a major provider of financial services to the medical, dental and teaching professions, was ranked first with a FAR of 27.6 per cent. Using the new rules as a basis, the society would also have been ranked first last year.
Liverpool Victoria was rated second with a FAR of 26.6 per cent and AxaSun-Life was third with 22.5 per cent.
According to Money Management, the realistic approach links the way that firms calculate their capital requirements more closely with how they manage their with-profits fund in practice, and provides a better indication of what policyholders can expect to receive in bonuses and payouts.
Last November Wesleyan was awarded a rare ten out ten rating for its financial strength by independent analysts, Cazalet Consulting.
The organisation has benefited from its refusal to get sucked into the dotcom, media and telecoms shares bubble of the late 1990s.
Its lack of exposure allowed it to weather the prolonged bear market that set in in 2000. Other insurers were forced to crystallise losses by selling shares at the bottom of the market and switch funds into fixed interest instruments such as gilts.
Wesleyan in comparison has been able to maintain a major commitment to equities (71 per cent) and so benefit from the market upturn and achieve an investment return of 13.5 per cent in 2004.
Tim Pindar, Wesleyan's actuary, said Wesleyan's policyholders could look forward to "very competitive" payouts.