OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” of Premier Group Insurance Company (Premier) (Murfreesboro, TN). The outlook for both ratings is stable. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings, reflecting management’s decision to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.
The ratings reflect Premier’s excellent capitalization and liquidity, low leverage and conservative investment portfolio. The ratings also recognize Premier’s solid operating performance, driven by strong underwriting results, which compare favorably to the workers’ compensation industry composite average. The ratings also consider the financial benefits and enhanced business profile derived from Premier’s ultimate parent company, National HealthCare Corporation (NHC). Also recognized in the ratings are Premier’s stringent written risk management guidelines and procedures, which are ingrained in the culture of the company. Premier has been able to leverage its monoline focus and its role within NHC to achieve consistently profitable underwriting results.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are Premier’s relatively high retention per claim and its limited scale and business diversification. While Premier has a stable source of business from NHC and is able to write business from third parties, its business volume, growth opportunities and dividend policy are largely dependent on NHC’s strategies.