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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group, LLC

[July 25, 2014]

A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group, LLC

OLDWICK, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

A.M. Best has downgraded the financial strength rating to B (Fair) from B+ (Good) and the issuer credit rating to "bb" from "bbb-" for Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group, LLC (PCIC) (Billings, MT). The outlook for both ratings has been revised to negative from stable.

The ratings reflects PCIC's deteriorating risk-adjusted capitalization and uncertainty surrounding its volatile operating performance given the multiple and significant changes in reinsurance arrangements in recent years. These concerns are amplified by the sizable adverse loss-reserve development recorded during 2013 on prior accident years, sizable growth since 2011 and relatively weak management controls. The negative outlook on the ratings reflects A.M. Best's concerns regarding the adequacy of the company's loss reserves, relatively weak capitalization and uncertainty over future underwriting and operating results.

Partially offsetting these negative factors are PCIC's positive unerwriting results recorded since 2011. Furthermore, an adverse development cover was put into place with London market reinsurers on Dec. 31, 2013, to protect against additional loss development. A quota share reinsurance treaty, effective Jan. 1, 2014, was also placed with London market reinsurers to reduce PCIC's net underwriting leverage.


A.M. Best will closely monitor quarterly performance of PCIC. Any material negative deviation from the business plan in terms of management, operating profitability and risk profile, or a decline in its risk-adjusted capitalization could result in negative rating pressure. Factors that could lead to positive rating movement are evidence of sustained favorable operating performance and credit metrics that improve risk-adjusted capitalization over the long term.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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