OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has removed from under review with negative implications and downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to B++ (Good) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR (Long-Term ICR) to “bbb+” from “a-” of West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company (WVMIC) (Charleston, WV). The outlook assigned to the FSR is stable, while the outlook assigned to the Long-Term ICR is negative. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.
The ratings were placed under review with negative implications in October 2017, in conjunction with the release of the updated Best’s Credit Rating Methodology (BCRM). The ratings have been removed from under review, as A.M. Best has completed its analysis of WVMIC under the updated BCRM.
The ratings reflect WVMIC’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The rating actions reflect the continued weakness in the company’s underwriting and operating results, and the continued challenges given competitive market conditions and the dynamics within the medical professional liability (MPL) segment. WVMIC’s operating and underwriting performance has suffered as a result of prolonged soft market in the MPL segment, and an increase in severity, partly attributable to death claims. In addition, reserve redundancies on prior accident years have lessened, and investment income growth remains under pressure due to prolonged low interest rates.
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