A.M. Best has assigned a financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of "a" to The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company (Dominion) Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The outlook assigned to all ratings is stable.
The rating assignments reflect Dominion’s good risk-adjusted capitalization, excellent brand recognition, established Canadian market presence nationally, but most notably in Ontario, as well as the implicit and explicit support it receives from its new parent, The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) (New York, NY) (NYSE: TRV).
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the company's fluctuating operating performance resulting primarily from legacy issues within its Ontario Auto business, which pre-date’s current ownership, recent increased competition, competitive market conditions (more legislative in nature in Ontario) throughout its underwriting territories combined with lower investment yields—a product of current financial market conditions, as well as a modest increase in the expense ratio due to a vast array of changes brought about by the company’s new ownership. The positive rating factors are derived primarily from the Dominion’s purchase by TRV, which was finalized in November of last year. Immediate support came in the form of an adverse development contract, finalized in 2013, that partially covers the Dominion’s reserves in all lines in the event of adverse development in its older accident years. This support has greatly benefited the overall risk-adjusted capitalization of the company, which will now be less susceptible to the company’s legacy issues as it moves forward under its new ownership.
Although unprofitable in recent years, significant strides have already been made to redirect efforts within the organization to reverse this trend. Dominion has benefited greatly from its new parent’s commitment of resources to reorganizing and streamlining its operation. The parent and subsidiary’s objectives and initiatives will soon be in lock step. These initiatives include continued efficiencies and synergies through integrated business systems, leveraging its expanded product suite and broker network, strengthening underwriting guidelines and claims management practices, as well as mirroring the enterprise risk management practices of the parent company.