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The AM Best rating firm has downgraded the credit rating and the outlook for Florida Family Insurance and its subsidiary, Florida Family Home Insurance Co.

The rating firm said the companies’ long-term issuer credit rating has dropped from “bbb+ (good)” to “bbb (good).” The financial strength rating remains at “B++ (good).” But the future may be cloudy: AM Best revised its outlook for that rating, from stable to negative and the outlook for long-term issuer credit ratings also was marked as negative this week, the rating firm said in a news release.

It’s the latest bit of bad news for Florida’s struggling property/casualty market and reflects storm losses and other factors that have eaten away at companies’ surplus amounts.

“The downgrade of the long-term ICRs reflects AM Best’s concerns over Florida Family’s balance sheet strength following continued surplus erosion due to underwriting losses, significantly elevated underwriting leverage metrics, inconsistent reserve development, and a declining trend in risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR),” the rating firm reported.

The capital ratio deterioration reflects “higher gross probable maximum losses (PMLs) that are a product of the group’s expansion of its new homeowners product, paired with less ground-up catastrophe reinsurance coverage, which collectively result in higher net PMLs across value-at-risk intervals.”

Florida Family companies’ balance sheet has also been affected by the need for more reinsurance.

Management for the Bonita Springs-based insurers has taken steps to improve performance, AM Best said. These include rate increases, non-renewals of some policies, an end to new business writing in some parts of the state and what it called “effective management of assignment-of-benefits issues.”

The companies, which together make up the Florida Family Group, recently launched a new homeowners insurance product that has produced modest growth.