Best’s News & Research Service - September 22, 2021 02:52 PM (EDT)
AM Best Revises Issuer Credit Rating Outlook to Stable for Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina
- September 22, 2021 02:52 PM (EDT)
Oldwick //BestWire// - AM Best has revised the outlook to stable from positive for the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a” (Excellent) of Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina (LML) (Cary, NC). The outlook of the FSR is stable.
These Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect LML’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The revision of the outlook to stable for the Long-Term ICR is based on volatility in LML’s operating results reported in recent years, driven by adverse reserve development on prior accident years. The adverse development was due to an increase in claim frequency and severity, after years of a decreasing trend. While LML has reported favorable overall operating profitability over the previous five-year period, the more recent results are more closely aligned with the current adequate operating performance assessment resulting in a change in the outlook to stable from positive.
The ratings also recognize LML’s strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), strong liquidity, conservative investment portfolio and comprehensive reinsurance program that protects policyholder surplus from volatility in results. LML has long-standing expertise in the North Carolina legal professional liability sector; however, geographic and product concentration subjects it to a higher degree of risk from fluctuations in the underwriting cycle, economic conditions in the state, and changes in regulatory, legislative and judicial environments as well as competition.
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 use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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 London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.