A.M. Best Assigns Rating to Attorneys Title Insurance Fund Inc
|January 19, 2006|
OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- --A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) to Attorneys Title Insurance Fund Inc (Orlando, FL). The rating has a stable outlook.
This rating reflects Attorneys Title's solid capitalization, favorable operating results and strong market profile as one of the largest title insurance underwriters in Florida. These positive rating factors are somewhat offset by the company's challenge to manage future economic cycles, inherent risks with managing significant premium growth in recent years and a high geographic concentration. The rating outlook is based on Attorneys Title's solid capitalization, favorable operating earnings and leading market position in Florida.
Attorneys Title's positive rating factors are derived from its long operating history and strong brand identity in the Florida title insurance marketplace. In addition, low fixed overhead costs due to the use of an unaffiliated agency force has allowed management to maintain a disciplined approach toward managing expenses during down real estate cycles, while substantially growing the revenue base resulting in consistently strong operating results in recent years. Furthermore, Attorneys Title has made critical investments in cost saving technology, which will also enable it to further build its brand in the highly competitive Florida market.
Negative rating factors include the susceptibility of Attorneys Title's underwriting revenue and profitability to fluctuating interest rate levels and a changing legal and regulatory environment, which could potentially have a generally negative impact on the title insurance industry. There are also significant execution risks in managing substantial premium growth related to the surge in refinancing activity in recent years. Attorneys Title also faces inherent risks associated with its significant concentration in Florida, as evidenced by rapidly appreciating real estate markets, which could result to some degree in future price volatility. However, this risk is somewhat mitigated by Florida's favorable demographics trend as evidenced by a continued strong population growth and economic fundamentals.
For Best's Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.
Source: A.M. Best Co.