The Importance of A.M. Best's Financial Strength Ratings

By: Global Administrator

March 28, 2014

When deciding on an extended service plan or vehicle service contract, it is important to know who is backing your coverage. Is the company reputable? Is it financially stable? And, just as significant on your part, do you really have time to research each and every company?

This is where A.M. Best comes into the picture. As the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, it sets the benchmark for determining an organization's credibility. Insurance agents, brokers, financial advisors, banks and other insurance professionals have all come to rely on A.M. Best's ratings and analysis to verify each insurer's financial strength. And if you're like most smart consumers who insist on doing thorough research, this rating can be one of your most valuable tools.

A.M. Best's Financial Strength Ratings provide you with an independent third-party evaluation of an insurer's ability to fulfill its financial obligations and can help serve as a key indicator as to whether or not your coverage plan is a smart long-term investment. Each rating is based on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. So you're basically getting a snapshot of how the company's business plan is expected to perform over an extended period of time.

And when you consider how volatile the market has been in recent years, these ratings have become even more important. A.M. Best has a proven track record in indicating which insurers may encounter financial difficulties. Or as Warranty Week noted in a recent article: "A.M. Best gets it right over the long term … there is an insistence on the part of some banks and credit unions that they won't finance a VSC (vehicle service contract) without an A- or better. And we'd suggest this threshold could also become a defining level for VSC buyers. Ask the question: 'Who is your underwriter and are they rated A- or better?' If not, why not?"

For more information on A.M Best's Financial Strength Ratings, visit http://www.ambest.com/ratings/guide.asp

Filed Under: A.M., Best, contract, financial, ratings, service, strength, vehicle, Warranty, Week