AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings for Oswego County Mutual Insurance Company

·3 min read

AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to "a" from "a-" of Oswego County Mutual Insurance Company (Oswego) (Parish, NY). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.

The ratings reflect Oswego’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

The rating upgrades reflect Oswego’s very strong balance sheet strength supported by risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), and consistently profitable operating performance over the most recent five-year period. Risk-adjusted capitalization is reflective of the company’s moderate underwriting leverage, a conservative investment portfolio and favorable accident- and calendar-year loss reserving trends. Oswego’s capital position is enhanced further through consistent surplus growth, with additions to surplus for five consecutive years and continuing throughout 2020. Liquidity measures are strong and enhanced by positive operating cash flows on a year-over-year basis.

Operating performance consistently has been profitable over the most recent five-year period, generated by solid underwriting performance, as demonstrated by its reported five-year average combined ratio of 85.6%, which outperformed the commercial property composite average. This strong underwriting metric resulted from management’s strict underwriting standards, close adherence to investment and claims guidelines and a successful niche strategy of controlled growth in rural and seasonal properties, including marinas and campgrounds, in Central New York.

Operating results through the first nine months of 2020, and projected through year-end, are strong, yielding moderate surplus growth. Underwriting income, supplemented with steady net investment earnings, have produced favorable operating and total return measures that outperform composite averages over the most recent five-year period.

Oswego’s business profile is categorized as limited as it is a single-state writer in New York, which exposes results to severe weather-related events, adverse judicial decisions and regulatory changes. However, the company adheres to a formalized ERM program that identifies major risks to the organization, with correlating mitigation strategies to offset and monitor them, including a comprehensive reinsurance program and membership in local and national insurance lobbying organizations.

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 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 analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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Contacts

Kevin Dorsey, AIAF, ARe
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5401
kevin.dorsey@ambest.com

Joseph Burtone
Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5125
joseph.burtone@ambest.com

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

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