and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” to AmTrust Title Insurance Company (ATIC) (New York, NY). ATIC is a subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AmTrust) [NASDAQ:AFSI]. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect ATIC’s supportive risk-adjusted capitalization level, its seasoned and experienced management team, and the development and implementation of ATIC’s enhanced business plan following its acquisition by AmTrust in 2014. The subsequent purchase of First Nationwide Title Agency in 2016 is another key element in the evolution of that plan. The ratings also reflect the explicit support that has been provided to ATIC by AmTrust and affiliates within the enterprise, including capital infusions and a guaranty agreement from AmTrust, and an excess of loss reinsurance agreement with AmTrust International Insurance, Ltd.
Offsetting rating factors include ATIC’s minimal profile in the title insurance market, the concentration of its business in the state of New York and the increasingly competitive environment in the commercial title space in which it plans to focus. While ownership of the historically profitable First Nationwide platform affords the company a solid base from which to grow, a number of larger competitors in the title market are looking to the commercial space as a key growth area, which will challenge ATIC’s management as it seeks to implement its plans over the near to midterm.
The outlooks reflect A.M. Best’s expectations that ATIC will maintain risk-adjusted capitalization levels that support its liabilities while achieving operating performance that is reasonably in-line with its plans. Negative rating action could occur should ATIC’s performance not be in line with the business plan submitted to A.M. Best in key areas, such as premium growth exceeding expectations or elevated losses or expenses that cause deterioration of surplus. Negative rating action also could occur should there be a change in the financial condition of ATIC’s ultimate parent, AmTrust.
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.
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