13 April 2023Analysis

AM Best affirms ratings of KW Specialty

AM Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- and the long-term issuer credit rating of “a-” of KW Specialty Insurance Company.

The rating agency said that the credit ratings reflect KW Specialty’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The revision of the outlooks to stable reflects KW Specialty’s good 2022 operating results, as the company successfully executed on its plans to write program business on a direct basis with prudent underwriting. In late 2021, KW Specialty entered into a loss portfolio transfer agreement with a Delaware captive 100% owned by its parent company, Kramer-Wilson Company, Inc., ceding all of its loss reserves from a handful of assumed programs that the company exited in 2021, which generated poor results for KW Specialty in prior years.

The development from these programs no longer affects KW Specialty’s operating results; AM Best’s view is that the company is on track again toward meeting its original business plans. The company’s expense ratio is currently quite high from building out systems and hiring staff as part of the startup process; however, AM Best expects it to gradually decrease as the company builds out its premium base in the next 2-3 years.