OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has revised the outlook to positive from stable and affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb” for Great Plains Casualty, Inc. (Great Plains) (Cedar Rapids, IA). A.M. Best has also affirmed Great Plains’ financial strength rating (FSR) of B++. The outlook for the FSR is stable.
The rating action reflects Great Plains’ strong risk-adjusted capitalization, due to its conservative underwriting and investment leverage measures, as well as its limited but consistently favorable operating performance since its inception. The ratings also reflect the company’s in-depth knowledge of the commercial trucking industry and the favorable financial leverage and interest coverage of its parent holding company, Hillcrest Holdings, Inc. In addition, the company benefits from the expertise gained by having common management between Great Plains and its sister company, CRST International Inc., which provides transportation solutions and services to manufacturers and distributors in the United States and Canada.
Offsetting these positive factors is Great Plains’ narrow product focus and inherent risk as a relatively new company attempting to gain market share and expand its geographic presence.
A.M. Best believes factors that may lead to positive rating actions include a trend of positive operating and underwriting profitability that outperforms the composite while maintaining favorable risk-adjusted capitalization. Factors that could lead to negative rating actions include a material deviation from management's projections, a lack of underwriting discipline which results in a trend of deteriorating underwriting and operating performance to a level below peers, or an erosion of surplus that causes a significant decline in risk-adjusted capital.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
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