OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the issuer credit rating to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) of Dryden Mutual Insurance Company (Dryden Mutual) (Dryden, NY). The outlook for both ratings is stable.
The rating actions reflect Dryden Mutual’s very strong risk-adjusted capitalization, sustained operating profitability throughout various market cycles, conservative leverage measures and favorable balance sheet liquidity. The positive rating factors are supported by Dryden Mutual’s local underwriting focus and long-standing market presence. Despite current soft market conditions and elevated commission expense ratios, the company’s underwriting results have remained profitable since 2002. The outlook reflects A.M. Best’s view that capitalization will remain more than supportive of the current ratings, growing through strong earnings.
Somewhat offsetting these positive rating factors are Dryden Mutual’s elevated expense structure and its narrow geographic spread of risk. Dryden Mutual’s geographic concentration within New York State does leave it susceptible to local weather patterns and negative judicial, legislative or regulatory changes. Despite heighten storm activity throughout the Northeast, the company experienced very low levels of weather losses during 2010.
Dryden Mutual is an advance premium co-operative insurer that specializes in writing commercial multi-peril, commercial fire, homeowners and general liability insurance throughout upstate New York.
The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies” and “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers.” Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
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