I am pleased to report that our organization has delivered yet another year of outstanding results in 2019, yielding just under $11 million in Underwriting profit along with upper single-digit premium growth. These combined results are the best we have produced in over 20 years, providing industry-leading stability in the New England marketplace and continuing to build upon our multi-year trend of robust profit and growth.
Total in-force policy count increased to just under 175,000, with the addition of approximately $36 million in new business, driving an 8.9% increase in premium across all states and lines of business. These results demonstrate continued policyholder and agent confidence in the strength, stability and future direction of our company.
Surplus grew to yet another all-time high of over $355 million, as we benefited from positive market swings while we worked strategically to rebalance our holdings into a more conservative portfolio. This philosophy, coupled with the results experienced, provide us with the financial capacity to both grow and manage any unanticipated future events that may occur.
I am also happy to share that AM Best increased the financial strength rating for The Concord Group from “A” with a “stable” outlook to “A” with a “positive” outlook, demonstrating a consistent upward trend over the past few years from the rating agency.
Our affiliation with the Auto-Owners Insurance Group continued to grow and develop substantially throughout the year, as much of our actuarial and data analytic services were moved to Auto-Owners’ Lansing, Michigan operation. This was one of the primary drivers of the affiliation and our successful integration in this area is evidenced by the ever-improving profitability of our organization. In addition, we continued to expand our Life and Commercial Insurance offerings, and launched a new company logo, website and social media presence, with assistance from various divisions within the Auto-Owners organization.
Significant operational changes were made in our Marketing and Underwriting areas to efficiently manage and sustain the continued profitable growth we have been experiencing for several years. Adding a layer of Field Management, expanding corporate marketing and redeploying underwriters on a state-level basis are only a few examples of the changes we have implemented to better support the needs of our agents and policyholders, and continue to provide industry-leading service levels.
On an exciting note, we expanded our Massachusetts operation, with the opening of a fully staffed branch office in Westborough. Given the growth we have been experiencing and future opportunity that exists for us in the state, the timing was right to establish a physical presence there. Unlike other branches that primarily house Claims personnel, our Massachusetts branch is home to associates in Claims, Personal and Commercial Underwriting, Marketing and Support Services. We look forward to many years of growth and integration in the Commonwealth.
Finally, a cornerstone of our culture here at The Concord Group is helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves within the communities where we live and work. I would like to once again take a moment to recognize the commitment to altruism that our employees regularly make through their contributions, both financial and in personal time, especially during the holidays. A wide range of charitable organizations are supported throughout Northern New England and Massachusetts, including the United Way, the New Hampshire Historical Society, and a plethora of food banks and family support services. I am grateful for the “giving hearts” of our employees.
A sincere thank you to all of our employees and independent agents who worked so hard for our success throughout the year, as well as to our directors and policyholders for their steadfast support. I look forward to continued success, challenge and opportunity in 2020.