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Fitch downgrades ProAssurance, affirms subsidiaries

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the long-term issuer default rating of ProAssurance Corp. to BBB+ from A- and affirmed the insurer financial strength ratings of the company's subsidiaries at A.

The subsidiaries affirmed in the action are ProAssurance Indemnity Co. Inc., ProAssurance Casualty Co., Eastern Alliance Insurance Co., Allied Eastern Indemnity Co., Noetic Specialty Insurance Co., Medmarc Casualty Insurance Co., ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., Podiatry Insurance Co. of America, Eastern Advantage Assurance Co. and PACO Assurance Co. Inc.

The outlook is stable.

Fitch said its downgrade of ProAssurance's issuer default rating takes into consideration a financial leverage and fixed-charge coverage ratio profile that is no longer consistent with narrow notching. The rating agency noted that ProAssurance's fixed-charge coverage ratio fell for a sixth straight year in 2018.

The affirmation of the subsidiaries' insurer financial strength ratings reflects ProAssurance's very strong capital and profitability, low financial leverage and favorable reserve experience that are partially offset by its business profile.