ICW Group Insurance Companies now has an “A” financial strength rating from A.M. Best, an upgrade that stems from a stronger balance sheet and healthy performance.

ICW Group encompasses property, auto and workers compensation insurance carriers, including Insurance Company of the West and Explorer Insurance Company, according to ICW’s website. It has an asset base of $3 billion.

The “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating is a step up from ICW Group’s previous “A-” (Excellent) financial strength rating for the San Diego-based national group of property/casualty carriers.

Why the change? A.M. Best said the upgrade stems from solid financials and business practices.

“The ratings reflect ICW’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management,” the ratings agency said in its Oct. 18 release.

A.M. Best said that ICW’s “improved operating and underwriting results over the past several years,” favorable loss experience in its workers compensation business, and a technology platform that has boosted efficiencies in operations and underwriting were all factors behind the ratings upgrade. ICW’s surplus, driven by “better-than-average” underwriting and a boost in investment income, also helped.

ICW President and CEO Kevin Prior said in prepared remarks that the ratings upgrade “is a testament to our people and the dedication to providing innovative insurance [products and services] for all of our customers.”

Prior added that “this significant recognition will only add to the trust and confidence our valued agent and broker partners have in ICW group when recommending us to their clients.”

Additionally, A.M. Best boosted its long-term issuer credit rating to “a” from “a-” for ICW. As well, the outlook for ICW’s long-term issuer credit ratings has been revised to stable from positive.

Sources: A.M. Best/ICW

Topics AM Best