AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aa+” (Superior) of United States Liability Insurance Company (USLI) and its subsidiaries: Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, U.S. Underwriters Insurance Company (Bismarck, ND), Mount Vernon Specialty Insurance Company and Radnor Specialty Insurance Company. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. All companies are domiciled in Omaha, NE, unless otherwise specified.
The ratings reflect the insurance operating companies’ consolidated balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as their very strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
These assessments are evidenced by USLI’s extended trends of underwriting and overall operating profitability, superior risk-adjusted capital position, relevant market presence and conservative reserve positions. Additional positive rating factors include a high level of diversification in the companies’ books of business with regard to concentration limits, sales channels, rate flexibility, proactive claims management philosophy and commitment to customer service. Furthermore, these ratings continue to benefit from implicit support provided to USLI and its subsidiaries by their ultimate parent, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) [NYSE: BRK-A and BRK-B], and explicit support from their affiliate, National Indemnity Company.
The explicit support for USLI is in the form of significant reinsurance treaties with National Indemnity Company, a Berkshire subsidiary. The implicit support for USLI is in the form of investment management services and ERM supervision, both provided by Berkshire. In addition to these factors, Berkshire has established a long-term history of supporting its member companies.
Last year, USLI’s common stock portfolio was affected negatively by the significant stock market drop, leading to unrealized investment losses, decrease in surplus, and risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). While part of the unrealized investment losses recovered in 2023, potential concerns from the resulting surplus decline were mitigated by the group’s risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by BCAR, which is well into the strongest range and continues to provide ample cushion to absorb occasional volatility in the capital markets.
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 Performance Assessments, 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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Guilherme Monteiro Simoes, CFA
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