Press Release - AUGUST 03, 2018

A.M. Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for Members of Optimum General Companies


CONTACTS:
 Gordon McLean
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5304
gordon.mclean@ambest.com

Raymond Thomson, CPCU, ARe, ARM
Associate Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5621
raymond.thomson@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK - AUGUST 03, 2018
A.M. Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of the members of Optimum General Companies (Optimum General). Optimum General consists of Optimum Insurance Company Inc. (Montreal, Quebec), Optimum West Insurance Company Inc. (Burnaby, British Columbia) and Optimum Farm Insurance Inc. (Trois-Rivieres, Quebec).

The outlook change to positive for the members of Optimum General reflect the sustained stability in pre-tax operating earnings driven by underwriting income that outperforms the property industry composite over the long term.

The ratings of Optimum General reflect its balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

The rating affirmations for the members of Optimum General reflect the very strong risk-adjusted capitalization as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) with scores at the 99.6% level somewhat offset by the elevated underwriting leverage measures. The group has reported that adequate pre-tax operating earnings have outperformed the property industry composite over the most-recent five-year period, with operating earnings driven and augmented by underwriting income. The limited business profile reflects Optimum General’s geographic concentration primarily in three provinces, writing personal, commercial, automobile and farming risks with solid brand name recognition.

Factors that could lead to positive rating actions include sustained improvement in operating results at a level that outperforms other similarly rated peers while maintaining the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization. Negative rating actions may occur should adverse reserve development result in a deterioration of the group’s risk-adjusted capitalization to a level that is not in line with A.M. Best’s expectations. Negative rating actions may occur should operating results deteriorate to a level that trails similarly rated peers due to a weakening in underwriting performance.

A.M. Best previously revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” for Optimum Re Insurance Company (Dallas, TX) and Optimum Reassurance Inc. (Montreal, QC) (collectively referred to as Optimum Re). (See related press release.)

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. 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 A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

A.M. Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry.


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