A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "aa-" of ProAssurance Casualty Company , ProAssurance Indemnity Company, Inc. and ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Company, Inc. The companies are select subsidiaries of ProAssurance Corp. (PRA) (NYSE:PRA), collectively referred to as ProAssurance Group ( ProAssurance ). The outlook for these ratings is stable. The companies are headquartered in Birmingham, AL . Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of "a-"of PRA. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the debt rating of PRA's senior unsecured debt issue of $250.0 million , 5.30 percent 10-year senior unsecured notes due 2023. A.M. Best also has affirmed the indicative debt ratings under the shelf registration of "a-" on the senior unsecured debt, "bbb+" on the subordinated debt and "bbb" on the preferred stock of PRA. The outlook for these ratings is stable. Also at this time, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of "a" of the additional subsidiaries of PRA: Medmarc Casualty Insurance Company (Medmarc) and Noetic Specialty Insurance Company (Noetic) (both headquartered in Chantilly, VA ). The outlook for these ratings is stable. Along with these rating actions, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of "a" of Podiatry Insurance Company of America (PICA) and the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICR of "a-" of PACO Assurance Company, Inc. (PACO) (both headquartered in Nashville, TN ), also subsidiaries of PRA. The outlook for these ratings remains stable. The affirmation of ProAssurance's ratings reflects its strong risk-adjusted capital, favorable operating performance and strong business profile in the medical professional liability insurance sector and other business lines. The group's ongoing underwriting success is credited to management's conservative reserving practices, disciplined underwriting standards and proactive legal defense and claims handling philosophy. The ratings also consider the group's market position across multiple jurisdictions and diversification across multiple disciplines within the medical professional liability space, along with legal professional liability lines and the recently added life sciences and medical device liability business. These ratings also acknowledge the depth and breadth of ProAssurance's enterprise risk management programs and policies. While competitive and investment challenges continue to exist, the outlook is based on the expectation of continued superior performance across the organization and capitalization that is supportive of these ratings. The ratings of Medmarc and Noetic reflect their excellent capital positions, ongoing strong operational results and their position in the market as leaders in medical device product liability. These ratings also receive support from the companies' relationship with its ultimate parent PRA, the continued integration of the company into the organization and explicit operational and financial support provided by members of the group. As PRA is a member of a publicly traded organization, these ratings also reflect the financial flexibility afforded to all of PRA's subsidiaries. PRA's financial leverage is very conservative, interest coverage is strong, and it holds significant levels of cash and short-term investments outside of the insurance operating companies that are available for use without regulatory approval. Additional factors supporting the affirmation of the ratings include the extensive operational support and industry expertise available across the organization. The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides an explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. A.M. Best Company is an insurance rating and information source. More Information: http://www.ambest.com Best's Credit Rating Methodology: http://www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology ((Comments on this story may be sent to email@example.com ))
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