AM Best Places Credit Ratings of NORCAL Group’s Members Under Review With Negative Implications

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a” of the members of NORCAL Group (NORCAL). (See below for a detailed listing of the companies.)

The under review status follows NORCAL’s third-quarter 2019 results, which included $30 million of adverse loss reserve development, significantly deviating from projections. These reserve charges predominantly impact accident years 2016 through 2018, and reflect significantly higher claim settlements following operational process changes initiated by the group in 2017, which is also causing an increase in the 2019 accident-year loss ratio relative to expectations.

Following the reserve increases and the resultant decline in policyholders’ surplus, NORCAL’s risk-adjusted capitalization declined but remained in the strongest category. However, these actions raise questions regarding internal controls and oversight of operational processes, as well as price adequacy, underwriting practices and the potential for future reserve strengthening. A review of full-year 2019 results, including the associated reserve analysis, as well as a number of management’s operational and strategic initiatives, is necessary to provide AM Best with sufficient information to resolve the under review status.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a” have been placed under review with negative implications for the following members of NORCAL Group:

  • NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company
  • NORCAL Specialty Insurance Company
  • Medicus Insurance Company
  • FD Insurance Company
  • Preferred Physicians Medical Risk Retention Group, a Mutual 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 Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Vicky Riggs

Senior Financial Analyst

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5039
vicky.riggs@ambest.com

Sharon Pereira Marks
Assistant Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5477
sharon.marks@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com