OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of The Commerce Insurance Company (Webster, MA), the lead property/casualty member of the MAPFRE U.S.A. Group (MAPFRE U.S.A.), and the group’s remaining intercompany pooling members. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. See below for a list of the intercompany pooling members.
MAPFRE U.S.A. is owned by MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp., whose ultimate parent is Spain-based Fundación MAPFRE (MAPFRE).
The ratings reflect MAPFRE U.S.A.’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also reflect the implicit and explicit support provided by its intermediate parent company, MAPFRE S.A.
MAPFRE U.S.A.’s balance sheet strength reflects the group’s strongest risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which is partially offset by adverse loss reserving trends and elevated underwriting leverage measures, which compare unfavorably with the composite averages. Surplus levels have declined over the current five-year period largely due to sizable stockholder dividend payments to the group’s parent.
Operating performance over the past five-year period has been volatile, as the group’s five-year average return on revenue and return on equity lags industry averages by a considerable margin. The group’s operating results have been negatively impacted by underwriting losses, which were primarily driven by adverse loss reserve development and weather-related losses. However, the group’s operating and underwriting results improved in 2019 and in first-half 2020.
AM Best views the group’s business profile as neutral, largely due to its local market expertise, MAPFRE U.S.A./Commerce brand-name recognition in several states, broad distribution networks and marketing activities throughout the various subsidiaries. ERM is considered appropriate for the group’s size and complexity of its underwriting, investment and other risks, based on its framework and controls.
The ratings also benefit from the group’s role and strategic importance to MAPFRE S.A. MAPFRE U.S.A. is integrated into the operations and management of the group and carries the MAPFRE name commercially. MAPFRE S.A. also provides support to MAPFRE U.S.A. through reinsurance, staffing of senior leadership positions and ERM guidance.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a” have been affirmed with a stable outlooks for The Commerce Insurance Company and the following MAPFRE U.S.A. interpooling members:
- Citation Insurance Company
- Commerce West Insurance Company
- American Commerce Insurance Company
- MAPFRE Insurance Company of Florida
- MAPFRE Insurance Company
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