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Insurance ratings actions: A.M. Best upgrades Medical Mutual Insurance of Maine

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

U.S. and Canada

A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings to "a" from "a-" of Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of Maine, the lead member of the Medical Mutual Group of Maine.

The ratings outlooks have been revised to stable from positive.

The ratings reflect the group's balance sheet categorized as strongest, strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

These ratings actions reflect the group's disciplined underwriting strategy, which has resulted in profitable underwriting income, before policyholder dividends, in recent years despite challenging market conditions and a decline in the magnitude of favorable reserve development on prior accident years.

The stable outlooks are based on A.M. Best's expectation that the group's rating fundamentals for balance sheet strength, operating performance, business profile and enterprise risk management will be maintained over the medium term.

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A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ (Good) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb-" of Clearwater, Fla.-based Frank Winston Crum Insurance Co.

These ratings reflect the company's adequate balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The revision in the outlooks reflects the company's improved underwriting performance over the last two years and steps being taken by management to further support premium growth that has more than doubled the insurer's book of gross premiums written over the last four years.

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Kroll Bond Rating Agency affirmed Rocky Hill, Conn.-based CATIC Financial Inc.'s issuer rating of BB+.

The agency also affirmed the insurance financial strength rating of BBB+ for lead operating subsidiary Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co. and upgraded the insurance financial strength rating of CATIC Title Insurance Co. to BBB- from BB+.

All outlooks are stable.

The assigned ratings reflect the organization's conservative operating strategy, market leadership position in key states, favorable earnings and experienced management team.

Europe

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Guernsey-based Jupiter Insurance Ltd. with a stable outlook.

The ratings reflect Jupiter's very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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Fitch Ratings has affirmed Scottish Widows Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating at A+ and insurer financial strength rating at AA- with stable outlooks.

The company's ratings are based on the credit quality of Scottish Widows Group Ltd., which includes the insurer, Lloyds Bank General Insurance Ltd. and St Andrew's Insurance PLC, since Fitch views Scottish Widows Ltd. as core to the group.

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S&P Global Ratings has assigned its A+ financial strength and long-term issuer credit ratings to Switzerland-based Toa 21st Century Reinsurance Co. Ltd. with a stable outlook.

The company is viewed as a core subsidiary of the Toa Re group, considering its strategic importance in expanding the group's European business, the parent's strong commitment and willingness to support it and the company's integration into the group.

The stable outlook on Toa 21st Century reflects those on Toa Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and Toa Reinsurance Co. of America.

Middle East and Africa

S&P affirmed its BB+ long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings on GIC Re South Africa Ltd. with a stable outlook.

At the same time, the agency affirmed the zaAAA South Africa national scale rating on the company.

The affirmation reflects GIC Re SA's robust capital position due to capital injections from its parent. The company is expected to remain well supported by its parent and retain its strategic status to the group.

Asia-Pacific

A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to B++ (Good) from B+ (Good) and the long-term issuer credit rating to "bbb" from "bbb-" of Vietnam-based BIDV Insurance Corp.

The outlook of these ratings has been revised to stable from positive.

The ratings reflect the company's strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The rating upgrades reflect the stability of BIDV Insurance's capitalization, along with the company's low underwriting leverage and conservative investment portfolio.

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A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and the long-term issuer credit rating of "bbb" of New Zealand-based Provident Insurance Corp. Ltd with a stable outlook.

The ratings reflect the company's adequate balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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S&P has withdrawn its BBB+ financial strength and issuer credit ratings on Australian Unity Health Ltd. at the request of the company.

This follows the full repayment to investors of the company's A$30 million subordinated capital notes, funded through a capital injection from its parent, Australian Unity Ltd.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here, here and here.

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