OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has assigned the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” to Sterling Insurance Cooperative, Inc. (SI Coop) (Cobleskill, NY). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” of Sterling Insurance Company (Sterling) (Cobleskill, NY). The outlook of these ratings is stable. Sterling and SI Coop are collectively referred to as Sterling Insurance Group.
The rating assignment for SI Coop reflects its affiliation with Sterling through a 100% quota share agreement along with being fully integrated into Sterling’s operations. Additionally, Sterling purchased a $350,000 surplus note of SIC and nine Sterling employees were elected by SI Coop’s policyholders to replace the previous SI Coop directors, both of which occurred in December 2015.
Sterling Group’s ratings reflect its strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, historically profitable operating results, stable loss reserving trends and its long-standing local market presence.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the group’s elevated expense structure and its geographic concentration in New York, which exposes results to weather-related events and to judicial and regulatory changes.
While the ratings for the group are stable, future positive rating actions may result if the group’s underwriting and operating results outperform its peers for an extended period of time. However, negative rating actions could result if the group’s underwriting and operating performance markedly deteriorates or if there is a material weakening of the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings.
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