OLDWICK, NJ - A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "a-" of Amerisafe Insurance Group (Amerisafe) and its members. Amerisafe includes American Interstate Insurance Company, Silver Oak Casualty, Inc. and American Interstate Insurance Company of Texas (Austin, TX), all operating subsidiaries of AMERISAFE, Inc. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of "bbb-" and debt ratings of AMERISAFE, Inc. The outlook for all ratings is positive. All companies are domiciled in DeRidder, LA, unless otherwise specified. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
The ratings reflect Amerisafe's excellent capitalization, strong operating profitability, which outperforms the group's peer composite over the long term, its established market presence and experience operating as a workers' compensation market for high hazard risks. The group's solid operating performance has been driven by its strong underwriting results given management's adherence to prudent underwriting and pricing discipline, focused loss control and safety programs and active claims management, which have allowed for favorable reserve development trends in recent years.
These positive factors are somewhat offset by Amerisafe's product concentration and historical adverse loss reserve development, which caused earnings volatility in earlier years. The positive rating outlook reflects A.M. Best's expectation that strong underwriting and operating results will be sustained over the near term, and capitalization will remain well supportive of Amerisafe's ratings.
The following debt ratings have been affirmed:
--"bb" on $25.8 million subordinated trust preferred securities, due 2033
--"bb" on $10.3 million subordinated trust preferred securities, due 2034
For Best's Credit Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.
The principal methodologies used in determining these ratings, including any additional methodologies and factors that may have been considered, can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
SOURCE: A.M. Best Company