Our weekly column of additional items of interest from in and around the Massachusetts insurance industry…
A.M. Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of ASI and Certain Affiliates; Assigns Ratings to Progressive Property Insurance Company
A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of American Strategic Insurance Corp (ASI) and certain affiliates to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICRs) to “aa-” from “a+”. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.
Concurrently, Progressive Property Insurance Company, a newly added affiliate, has been assigned an FSR of A+ (Superior) and a Long-Term ICR of “aa-”. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable.
“The ratings reflect ASI’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The rating upgrades for ASI reflect the financial and operational enhancements that its ultimate parent, The Progressive Corporation (Progressive), has continued to provide to ASI since the acquisition of majority ownership in ASI and its affiliates in 2015. ASI’s distribution network has been broadened further through Progressive’s extensive advertising campaigns, market penetration and bundling opportunities between ASI’s exclusively homeowners line of business, and Progressive’s market profile as one of the leading writers of automobile insurance in the United States. Progressive also provides financial flexibility to further support ASI’s expanding geographic footprint and policy growth initiatives.
ASI maintains concentrations in coastal states, which exposes the group to tropical weather events. However, the group utilizes strict underwriting criteria and risk management methods to emphasize focus on writing in more inland areas. In addition, ASI employs a comprehensive catastrophe reinsurance program that reduces net losses in the event of severe weather events.”
Both ASI and Progressive Property Insurance Company are domiciled in St. Petersburg, FL. See below for a detailed list of affiliates that have received rating upgrades.
The FSR has been upgraded to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent), the Long-Term ICRs upgraded to “aa-” from “a+” and the outlooks of these ratings revised to stable from positive for the following affiliates of American Strategic Insurance Corp:
- ASI Assurance Corp
- ASI Home Insurance Corp
- ASI Lloyds
- ASI Preferred Insurance Corp
- ASI Select Insurance Corp
CVS Health has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to allow it to proceed with its planned acquisition of Aetna. DOJ Approval is an important step forward and is a required part of the approval process which also includes state regulatory approvals. As a result of the agreement, CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna will likely close in early Q4-2018.
“DOJ clearance is an important step toward bringing together the strengths and capabilities of our two companies to improve the consumer health care experience,” said CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the DOJ that maintains the strategic benefits and value creation potential of our combination with Aetna. We are now working to complete the remaining state reviews.”
Merlo added, “CVS Health and Aetna have the opportunity to combine capabilities in technology, data and analytics to develop new ways to engage patients in their total health and wellness. Our focus will be at the local and community level, taking advantage of our thousands of locations and touchpoints throughout the country to intervene with consumers to help predict and prevent potential health problems before they occur. Together, we will help address the challenges our health care system is facing, and we’ll be able to offer better care and convenience at a lower cost for patients and payors.”
Upon its acquisition, CVS Health says that Aetna will remain a standalone business with the CVS Health enterprise and will be led by its current management team.
The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA), announced on September 27, 2018 that Taunton-based FBinsure has renewed their Five Star Agency Designation. In commenting on the agency’s achievement, Heather Kramer, Five Star Consultant, Vice President and COO of MAIA, stated:
“FBinsure has been a Five Star Agency for many years. While the agency has maintained its core mission of being a customer focused agency, it has grown and changed in many ways. It is not the same agency it was when it first began its Five Star journey, however what has remained constant is its ability to look at itself and find ways to become better.
She continued to say “We saw strengths that have only gotten better, we saw new initiatives being implemented, we saw new ideas being developed and we saw a desired acceptance of all. FBinsure has demonstrated that they are one of the best agencies within the Five Star Agency Designation program and it is without hesitation that they renew their designation.”
FBinsure first became a Five Star Agency in 2006. Since then it has continued to exhibit the necessary vigor and excellence with respect to the five areas associated with the designation: Customer Focus, Management/Leadership, Human Resource, Product & Process and Future Success Initiatives.
Russel Martorana, President of FBinsure, said “As an agency, we have worked together to establish a guiding set of core values; Client Focus, Employee Commitment, Social Responsibility, Integrity, and Innovation. These values have served us well and provided a foundation for success through our evolution. We have an extraordinary team who works so hard to exceed the expectations of our clients every day. We do not grow, achieve our goals, or receive honors such as the Five Star Designation without the hard work of these dedicated individuals.” He further stated “While we do have fun doing what we do, our entire team works very hard. It is nice to be recognized as being a great agency.”
MAIA awards the Five Star Agency Designation to independent agencies that go through a vigorous review based on key criteria that affect an insurance agency and how it operates. Upon earning a qualifying score, an agency becomes a Five Star Agency Designee and must go through an intensive review process every 3 years to again prove that they continue to provide superior service, knowledge and value. It is a very select group that has attained this designation, since only 22 out of more than 1,500 agencies in Massachusetts hold it.
If anyone is interested in the program, please contact Heather Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.