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A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Insurance Company

OLDWICK, N.J.— A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating (FSR) of B+ (Good) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of â??bbb-â? to Specialty Insurance Company (BSIC) (Metairie, LA), a member of Bankers Insurance Group (Bankers). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of B+ (Good) and ICRs of â??bbb-â? of Bankers and its other property/casualty members. The outlook for all ratings is stable. All companies are domiciled in St. Petersburg, FL, unless otherwise specified. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings.)
The ratings of BSIC recognize its supportive risk-adjusted capital position, as well as it being a strategic entity within Bankers as a writer of homeownersâ?? policies in the Louisiana marketplace. In addition, BSIC benefits from operational infrastructure and financial support provided by Bankers. The company also generates fee income from claims handling and policy processing services. The ratings also reflect inter-company agreements with its parent company regarding reinsurance coverage.
The ratings of Bankers reflect its favorable risk-adjusted capitalization and expertise in the homeowners and small commercial niches and underwriting enhancements. In addition, the group continues to maintain prudent catastrophe reinsurance programs. These positive rating factors are somewhat offset by historical variability in underwriting performance, aggressive premium growth, elevated underwriting expense ratios and susceptibility to frequent and severe weather-related events due to Bankersâ?? exposure in the Florida and Louisiana marketplaces. The ratings of Bankers Life recognize its strengthened capital level due to the capital contribution of the parent company, although the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization remains weak.
As details of the new health care law begin to surface, concerns are rising among local officials about the constitutionality of the legislation and hidden costs awaiting residents in years to come. The constitutional question arises around the billâ??s mandate forcing insurance to satisfy specific coverage requirements. Can Washington coerce a local government to buy policies only from providers approved by the federal government? The fiscal worry surrounds the expenses public agencies will incur for the health insurance they purchase for their own employees.

Carolina Journal has been able to find no research projecting the fiscal impact of the federal law on health insurance plans provided by public employers. Estimates of the legislationâ??s costs have instead focused on public assistance programs including Medicaid and private health insurance premiums.

Even so, cities and counties are wise to be worried, said Joe Coletti, director of health and fiscal policy studies at the John Locke Foundation. He said local governments across the country must decide whether their health insurance coverage meets federal standards. If not, counties and cities will have to pay hefty fines imposed through the new law beginning in 2018. This cost, in turn, will be passed on to local taxpayers in the form of higher taxes.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 2:56 am and is filed under Florida Health Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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