|[January 31, 2013]
A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company and Assigns Ratings to NorthStone Insurance Company
OLDWICK, N.J. --(Business Wire)--
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of
A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of "a-" of BrickStreet
Mutual Insurance Company (BSMIC). A.M. Best also has assigned
an FSR of A- (Excellent) and an ICR of "a-" to BSMIC's subsidiary,
NorthStone Insurance Company (NorthStone). BSMIC and NorthStone are
collectively referred to as BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Group
(BrickStreet). The outlook for all ratings is stable, and both companies
are headquartered in Charleston, WV.
The rating actions reflect BrickStreet's strong risk-adjusted
capitalization, profitable underwriting and operating performance and
dominant position in the West Virginia workers' compensation market. The
ratings also recognize the group's prudent loss reserving standards that
have allowed for favorable loss reserve development of prior accident
years and the competitive rate flexibility afforded by multiple tiering
in a number of states.
The ratings of NorhStone recognize the intercompany pooling agreement
and the financial support and flexibility of BSMIC. NorthStone was
formed to facilitate a more flexible tiered pricing structure in the
states where BSMIC does not have multiple tiers.
Positive rating actions may occur if BrickStreet sustains its strong
underwriting and operating performance over the medium term. However,
negative rating actions could result if the operating performance and/or
risk-adjusted capitalization of the group falls markedly short of A.M.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit
Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M.
Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria
employed in the rating process. Key criteria utilized include: "Risk
Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies"; "Catastrophe
Analysis in A.M. Best's Ratings"; "Rating Members of Insurance Group";
"The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation";
"Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers"; and "Rating New
Company Formations." Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more
information, visit www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
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