Oldwick, NJ -(BusinessWire)- AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a-” (Excellent) from “bbb+” (Good) of Forestry Mutual Insurance Company (FMIC) (Raleigh, NC). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect FMIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The ratings upgrade reflects the sustained improvement in FMIC’s balance sheet strength, which is supported by risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The improved assessment is the result of several factors: strong policyholder surplus growth over the past five-year period; solid liquidity metrics; favorable loss reserving trends; and the maintaining of a solid reinsurance program with a manageable retention. Further, surplus growth, coupled with a lower premium base, has led to declining underwriting leverage measures. AM Best expects that FMIC’s operating profitability will continue to increase the company’s surplus base prospectively.
The ratings also reflect FMIC’s adequate operating performance, which is supported by disciplined underwriting practices and a conservative investment strategy. The limited business profile reflects the company’s position as a monoline workers’ compensation writer for the logging and forestry industries, which exposes it to risks associated with the timber industry, such as changes in demand for wood products. AM Best considers the company’s ERM framework and risk management capabilities to be appropriate for its risk profile. FMIC is recognized for its aggressive safety and loss control processes, along with a commitment to long-term stability for its members.
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