The outlook revision to negative is the result of continued poor operating performance. Volatile underwriting results can be attributed primarily to frequent and severe catastrophe events, including multiple significant hail events in 2016. In the prior five years, surplus deterioration contributed to a decline in overall risk-adjusted capitalization. Additionally, Mountain West’s five-year return on revenue is negative and well below the private passenger standard auto and homeowners composites.
The focus of Mountain West is to service the members of the
These negative rating factors are offset by Mountain West’s favorable overall risk-adjusted capitalization, despite the recent decline, and consistently favorable reserve development. Strong investment income has partially offset the poor underwriting performance and aided liquidity measures that are above the composite. In addition, Mountain West maintains a strong market presence in its areas of operations, aided by its affiliation with the Farm Bureau Federations in its respective states.
Factors that could result in negative rating action include continuation of the unfavorable trend in operating performance or a material decline in risk-adjusted capitalization. Factors that could result in a stabilization of the current outlook include a sustained improvement in underwriting results.
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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