OLDWICK, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best revised the outlook from negative to stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer’s long-term credit rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Southern Trust Insurance Company (Southern Trust) (Macon, GA).
These credit ratings (ratings) reflect the strength of Southern Trust’s balance sheet, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The revised outlook to stable reflects Southern Trust’s capital growth over the past few years, primarily driven by underwriting income and capital gains. In addition, management has implemented several initiatives to curb the unfavorable development of claims reserves. These include the continued strengthening of reserves, as well as several internal changes in claims handling and litigation management. Collectively, these efforts have begun to gain momentum and should mitigate future development of adverse loss reserves. Additionally, the company has in place a 50/50 quota-share reinsurance agreement covering its passenger auto and commercial auto physical damage business lines, which will provide excess relief in 2022.
Over the past three years, Southern Trust’s operating performance has been profitable despite some volatility due to weather-related events. The company’s underwriting results benefited from various underwriting initiatives, including rate increases, enhanced underwriting guidelines and re-inspections. Southern Trust’s business profile is considered limited due to its narrow geographic concentration and relative market position in its operating territory. Recently, emphasis has been placed on improving the Company’s geographic distribution in its operating territory and on the controlled growth of its business insurance activities. AM Best considers Southern Trust’s ERM program to be appropriate for its size and scope of operations.
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