OLDWICK, N.J., October 14, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of "a" (Excellent) of The Commerce Insurance Company (Webster, MA), the lead property/casualty member of the MAPFRE U.S.A. Group (MAPFRE U.S.A. Group), 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.
The MAPFRE U.S.A. Group is owned by MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp., whose ultimate parent is Spain-based Fundación MAPFRE (MAPFRE).
The ratings reflect the group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses 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.
The MAPFRE U.S.A. Group’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. The group reported slight surplus growth over the current five-year period, largely driven by operating earnings and capital gains (realized and unrealized) and offset by sizable stockholder dividend payments to the group’s parent.
Operating performance over the most recent five-year period has been volatile but improving, as the group’s five-year average return on revenue and return on equity lags industry averages by a sizable margin. The group’s operating results have been impacted negatively 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 2020 and have continued to improve in first-half 2021.
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. The MAPFRE U.S.A. Group is integrated into the operations and management of the group and carries the MAPFRE name commercially. MAPFRE S.A. also provides support to the group through reinsurance, staffing of senior leadership positions and ERM guidance.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of "a" (Excellent) have been affirmed with stable outlooks for The Commerce Insurance Company and the following MAPFRE U.S.A. Group intercompany pooling members:
Citation Insurance Company
Commerce West Insurance Company
American Commerce Insurance Company
MAPFRE Insurance Company of Florida
MAPFRE Insurance Company
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM 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 AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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