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-” for the member companies of Stewart Title Group (Stewart). A.M. Best also has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” for the parent holding company, Stewart Information Services Corporation (headquartered in Houston, TX) [NYSE: STC]. Concurrently, Stewart Title Guaranty de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (STGM) (Mexico) became a member of Stewart and its FSR of A- (Excellent), Long-Term ICR of “a-” and the Mexico National Scale Ratings of “aaa.mx” were affirmed (see related press release). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Stewart’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.
These rating factors are derived from the group’s favorable levels of risk-adjusted capitalization and its consistently profitable underwriting and investment results. Stewart also benefits from its market position as the fourth largest title insurance writer in the United States, writing business in all 50 states as well as its growing its international presence. This global diversification helps mitigate the concentration risk inherent to being a monoline writer of title insurance.
STGM became a member of Stewart based upon the importance of its licensing in Mexico, which is necessary due to domestic regulations that do not permit branches to operate in Mexico. In addition, the company is a subsidiary of Stewart and is fully integrated into the group via underwriting, reinsurance and claim processes, as well as through the administrative support provided by the U.S. operations.
Positive rating action may result from positive underwriting performance trends, accompanied by growth in risk-adjusted capitalization. Significant deterioration in operating performance that results in a decline in risk-adjusted capitalization may result in negative rating actions. Negative rating action also may result should the holding company experience liquidity issues or a significant increase in leverage.
The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a-” have been affirmed with a stable outlook for the following members of the Stewart Title Group:
- Stewart Title Guaranty Company
- Stewart Title Insurance Company
- Stewart Title Guaranty de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
- Stewart Title Limited
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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