AM Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a-" for the members of the Virginia Farm Bureau Group: Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (Virginia Farm Bureau) and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Virginia Farm Bureau Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., Virginia Farm Bureau Town and Country Insurance Co., and Countryway Insurance Co. (Syracuse, NY). All companies are domiciled in Richmond, VA except where specified.
These Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Virginia Farm Bureau's balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The revised outlooks reflect the continued favorable trends in the group's balance sheet strength and operating performance metrics in recent years. The group implemented multiple underwriting and exposure management initiatives in prior years, which have resulted in consistent trends in operating performance and organic surplus growth. Additionally, the group has improved its quality of capital through prepayment of surplus note obligations. The group's balance sheet had been hindered historically by volatility and elevated underwriting leverage ratios, which have both improved in recent years. Going forward, further improvement in the balance sheet strength could result in positive rating action.