Press Release - MAY 21, 2015

A.M. Best Revises the Under Review Implications Status to Positive for Members of Florists' Mutual Group; Affirms Ratings


CONTACTS:
 Susan Molineux
Senior Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5829
susan.molineux@ambest.com

Henry Witmer
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5097
henry.witmer@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK - MAY 21, 2015
A.M. Best has revised the under review implications status to positive from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of B+ (Good) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "bbb-" of Florists' Insurance Company and Florists' Mutual Insurance Company, collectively referred to as Florists' Mutual Group (Florists'). The ratings remain under review. Both companies are domiciled in Edwardsville, IL.

Florists' management signed an affiliation agreement with Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company (Sentry) in May 2015. Sentry currently holds an FSR of A+ (Superior) and an ICR of "aa-," both with a stable outlook. Florists' is expected to benefit from the shared expertise, services and financial support from Sentry. A.M. Best believes operating performance may remain volatile in the near term as corrective actions begin to gain traction and as integration between Florists' and Sentry takes place. These negative rating factors are partially offset by Florists' net investment income, which has been positive and has somewhat mitigated its unfavorable underwriting performance over the past five years.

The ratings may be downgraded if Florists' risk-adjusted capitalization declines, if regulatory approval for the affiliation agreement is not received or there is a continuation of adverse operating performance.

The ratings will remain under review pending A.M. Best's further discussions with management regarding the integration following the signing of the affiliation agreement and the completion of a detailed analysis of loss reserves.

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. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Key insurance criteria reports utilized:


  • Evaluating U. S. Surplus Notes

  • Rating Members of Insurance Groups

  • Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies

  • Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers

This press release relates to rating(s) 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 visit A.M. Best's Ratings & Criteria Center .

A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.


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