A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” of Crusader Insurance Company (Crusader). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb-“ of Crusader’s parent company, Unico American Corporation (Unico) [NASDAQ:UNAM]. The outlook for all ratings is stable. Both companies are domiciled in Woodland Hills, CA.
The rating actions reflect Crusader’s excellent level of risk-adjusted capitalization and profitable financial performance coupled with its solid knowledge of the California market. Furthermore, the ratings acknowledge the financial flexibility afforded Crusader via Unico.
Offsetting these strengths is Crusader’s geographic concentration of risk. As a single state writer in California, Crusader remains subject to competitive market pressures and the state’s legislative and regulatory environment. In addition, Crusader’s concentration of property risks exposes the company’s surplus to natural and man-made catastrophes, namely fire following earthquake, although Crusader’s reinsurance program reduces net exposure to a reasonable level.
While the outlook for Crusader’s ratings is stable, future positive rating actions may result from continued strong operating performance. Negative rating actions could result if operating performance or risk-adjusted capitalization were to deteriorate below A.M. Best’s expectations.The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; “Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings”; “The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation”; and “Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings.” Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.