AM Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (excellent) from A- (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings to “a” from “a-” of Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company, the lead property/casualty company and its wholly owned subsidiary, New England Guaranty Insurance Company Inc., as well as its mutual affiliate, Community Mutual Insurance Company, which are collectively referred to as Union Mutual of Vermont Companies.
Union Mutual Fire and New England Guaranty are domiciled in Montpelier, Vermont, while Community Mutual is domiciled in Latham, New York. The outlook of these credit ratings was revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect Union Mutual’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
AM Best says in a press release that the rating upgrades reflect the group’s improved overall balance sheet strength as consistently profitable operating performance has generated robust policyholders’ surplus growth over the past five years, which in turn has solidified the capital position.
Union Mutual has maintained risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), while organically growing surplus through underwriting income. The investment portfolio is primarily composed of fixed income securities, and while the company does have exposure to equity risk through its common stock portfolio, the allocation is capped per investment policy guidelines and partially mitigated through predominant investment in exchange traded funds, according to the release. Furthermore, the release adds management has continually refined its loss reserving practices, which have traditionally generated annual overall redundancies.
Operating performance is expected to remain adequate, reflective of profitable results that remain subject to moderate volatility due to weather activity. Management continues to refine its profile, which is focused on New York and New England commercial multiperil and homeowners business to solidify performance. Union Mutual employs an ERM program that is considered appropriate for its scope, the release said.
Source: AM Best
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