Press Release - JUNE 19, 2018

A.M. Best Assigns Credit Ratings to United Security Assurance Company of Pennsylvania

 Jeffrey Lane
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5567

Joseph Zazzera, MBA
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5797

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - JUNE 19, 2018
A.M. Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of C- (Weak) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “ccc-” to United Security Assurance Company of Pennsylvania (United Security) (Souderton, PA). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect United Security’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very weak, as well as its marginal operating performance, very limited business profile and weak enterprise risk management.

The ratings partially reflect the company’s execution of an agreement with a reinsurer for a coinsurance arrangement, which has significantly enhanced United Security’s risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). However, there are several offsetting negative factors driving its very weak balance sheet strength. United Security is heavily dependent on its reinsurance partnerships. Furthermore, the primary reinsurer is an unauthorized and unrated entity, posing counterparty risk. In addition, the holding company remains highly leverage and has reported a negative shareholder’s equity position, limiting the organization’s financial flexibility and further weakening the organization’s overall balance sheet strength. A.M. Best notes that United Security is using external consultants to support its investment and actuarial functions in an effort to bolster future investment return, pricing and reserving practices.

Additionally, as part of the aforementioned reinsurance transaction, United Security’s invested asset base decreased considerably, from over $150 million to over $20 million, which negatively impacted its net investment income in 2016 and 2017. While the company has reported profitability over these two years - despite continued underwriting losses - the 2016 results and related capital increase during that year were significantly driven by the one-time impact of the reinsurance transaction.

The vast majority of the company’s inforce premium have been related historically to its long-term care (LTC) business, concentrated in a small number of states. The company continues to write LTC business but also is shifting its focus to supplemental health, focused on short-term care products, which is a comparatively less risky line of business.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. 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 A.M. 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 A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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AMB# Company Name
001850 United Security Assurance Company of PA