OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of American Southern Insurance Company (Topeka, KS) and its wholly owned and 100% reinsured subsidiary, American Safety Insurance Company (collectively referred to as American Southern Group). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A-(Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company and Bankers Fidelity Assurance Company (collectively referred to as Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Group [BFLIG]. The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) are stable. All companies are domiciled Atlanta GA, unless otherwise specified.
Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” of the parent company, Atlantic American Corporation (Atlantic American) (NASDAQ:AAME). The outlooks of these ratings remain stable.
The ratings reflect American Southern Group’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The ratings also reflect the group’s long history of operating profitability, management’s disciplined underwriting approach and its local market knowledge. American Southern Group’s balance sheet strength assessment reflects risk-adjusted capitalization that is at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) model, partially offset by the group’s payment of substantial stockholder dividends, which historically have been used to service debt held at Atlantic American.
The ratings also consider the financial leverage and interest coverage at Atlantic American, with its adjusted debt-to-total capital at 16.3% as of Sept. 30, 2017. Interest coverage historically has been supported adequately by the insurance operating companies’ ability to generate sufficient earnings to cover obligations at the parent.
Negative rating actions could occur for American Southern Group if there is significant deterioration in underwriting results over the near term, or if risk-adjusted capitalization declines significantly.
The ratings of BFLIG consider its balance sheet strength, which is categorized as very strong, combined with its marginal operating performance, a neutral business profile and its appropriate ERM.
In the rating of BFLIG, A.M. Best has considered the execution of BFLIG’s modernization of overall operations. Management has taken these steps with the hopes of achieving better competitive positioning as newly designed products and a multi-phased expansion are being implemented, both into new markets and via broader based distribution channels. While BFLIG has exhibited higher premium revenue development over the last year, there has also been a negative development on the bottom line related to new business strain. Positive rating actions could occur for BFLIG if there is a sustained positive earnings trend. Negative rating action could occur if there is a material weakening in its 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. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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