A.M. Best: Negative Outlook for Nebraska’s Battle Creek Mutual

March 19, 2009

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ (Good) and issuer credit rating of “bbb-” of Battle Creek Mutual Insurance Co. in Nebraska. The outlook for both ratings has been revised to negative from stable.

A.M. Best said its ratings reflect Battle Creek’s adequate level of risk-adjusted capitalization, long-standing local market presence and conservative investment portfolio, which produced a steady stream of income and offset underwriting losses over several years. Additionally, the ratings also reflect management’s corrective actions to improve profitability, such as rate revisions, cancellation of unprofitable agencies and adhering to tighter underwriting guidelines.

However, the ratings agency added, the revised outlook reflects the deterioration in Battle Creek’s risk-adjusted capitalization following significant operating losses in 2008 as a result of significant weather and investment related losses. As a single state writer in Nebraska, Battle Creek’s operating results will continue to be exposed to frequent and severe weather-related events and competitive market conditions, according to A.M. Best, which said it is concerned that Battle Creek’s capitalization may deteriorate further if its operating performance does not improve in the near term.

Source: Best’s Ratings

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