AM Best Information Services

MAY 03, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)

A.M. Best Upgrades the Ratings of Plateau Insurance Company

William Pargeans
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5359

Louis Savarese
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5168
Public Relations
Rachelle Morrow
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378

Jim Peavy
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK, N.J. - MAY 03, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating to B++ (Good) from B+ (Good) and issuer credit rating to "bbb+" from "bbb-" of Plateau Insurance Company (Plateau Insurance) (Crossville, TN). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The upgrading of Plateau Insurance's ratings reflects its favorable level of risk-adjusted capitalization and consistent earnings, including an improvement in its 2009 reported results. The company's year-end 2009 earnings were primarily driven by a change in its reserve methodology and consistent investment income. Moreover, Plateau Insurance's conservative investment strategy has allowed the company to remain somewhat insulated from the economic and investment crisis with very low impairments and investment losses.

Plateau Insurance's rating upgrades also reflect the integrated nature and earnings contribution from its A- (Excellent)-rated property/casualty (PC) parent, Plateau Casualty Insurance Company, and its ultimate parent, Plateau Group, Inc. Other rating considerations recognize the group's synergies, common management and opportunities to market Plateau Insurance's credit life and disability insurance products, along with the companion PC product portfolio to consumer finance companies, community banks and automobile dealers.

While Plateau Insurance's capitalization and earnings remain favorable and represent a good ability to meet its ongoing obligations to policyholders, A.M. Best believes its business profile will remain challenged. Plateau Insurance is subject to macroeconomic and regulatory pressures, as well as competitive pressures from stronger, more diversified credit insurers, which may continue to limit its growth opportunities.

For Best's Credit Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit Best's Ratings & Analysis.

The principal methodologies used in determining these ratings, including any additional methodologies and factors that may have been considered, can be found at Best's Credit Rating Methodology.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers.

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