AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” (Excellent) for the member companies of Stewart Title Group (Stewart). AM Best also has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” (Good) for the parent holding company, Stewart Information Services Corporation (headquartered in Houston, TX) [NYSE: STC]. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. See below for a listing of companies.
The ratings reflect Stewart’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
Rising interest rates, a slowing economy and a slowdown in the real estate sector have dampened Stewart’s production and premium volume. Despite these headwinds, Stewart’s underwriting and operating results are expected to remain in line with industry averages. Stewart’s ratings consider the group’s very strong levels of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), and its consistently profitable underwriting and investment results. In addition, Stewart benefits from its market position as the fourth-largest title insurance writer in the United States and writes business in all 50 states, as well as its international presence. This global diversification helps mitigate the concentration risk inherent to being a monoline writer of title insurance.
Negative rating action could occur if increased interest rates and a slowing economy lead to a significant decline in operating profitability or a material decline in risk-adjusted capitalization levels. Negative rating action also might result should the holding company experience liquidity issues or a significant increase in leverage.
The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a-” (Excellent) have been affirmed with a stable outlook for the following members of the Stewart Title Group:
- Stewart Title Guaranty Company
- Stewart Title Insurance Company
- Stewart Title Limited
- Stewart Title Guaranty de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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