Hartford Financial Services Group’s continued rebound has led Standard & Poor’s to raise its financial strength credit rating for the insurance giant.
Specifically, Standard & Poor’s said it is raising its financial strength credit rating for The Hartford’s core operating subsidiaries to ‘A+’ from ‘A.’ There’s a similar upgrade in play for the insurer’s counterparty credit ratings. Additionally, S&P s rewarded Hartford with a “stable” outlook.
S&P credit analyst Sid Ghosh explained in prepared remarks that the ratings upgrade is in response to The Hartford having “successfully executed a number of strategic initiatives to improve its risk profile from a number of well-executed strategic dispositions of its legacy run-off business.”
As well, Ghosh said that the federal renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act “dissipated” concerns about its workers compensation business. Standard & Poor’s said it gave The Hartford a stable outlook because it expects it will be able to keep on track with “very strong capital and earnings” while also keeping its underwriting and risk selection disciplined over the next two years.
In February, The Hartford said its fourth-quarter net income hit $382 million, up from $314 million the same period a year ago. Its combined ratio came in at 92, 2.8 points better than in the 2013 fourth quarter. The insurer also reported steady increases in net property casualty premiums earned and p/c premiums written.
The Hartford hit some tough times after the financial crisis in 2008 but it has since divested its life insurance units to focus more on growing its property/casualty business.
During Q4, analyst Vincent DeAugustino of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. told Bloomberg that Hartford “is still progression through what is a remarkably positive story.”
The Hartford will present its 2015 first quarter results in an April 28 earnings call.
Source: Standard & Poor’s