A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Global Indemnity plc and Its Subsidiaries
OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "a" of Wind River Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (Wind River Re) (Hamilton, Bermuda) and its U.S. subsidiaries. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of "bbb" of the ultimate parent holding company of Wind River Re, Global Indemnity plc (Global Indemnity) (Dublin, Ireland) [NASDAQ: GBLI].
Also, A.M. Best has affirmed the indicative ratings on the shelf registration of "bbb" on senior unsecured debt, "bbb-" on subordinated unsecured debt and "bb+" on preferred stock of Global Indemnity. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies.)
At the same time, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of "a" of United National Casualty Insurance Company (United National Casualty) (Munster, IN) as Global Indemnity amended its pooling arrangement as United National Casualty was removed from the pool.
These ratings take into account Global Indemnity's strong first quarter 2013 earnings announcement, the group's solid capitalization, strong historical operating performance and diversified portfolio of specialty product offerings in the United States and reinsurance in Bermuda via Wind River Re. The U.S. subsidiaries of Global Indemnity operate under a single pooling agreement, whereby they pool their premiums and liabilities and cede 50% of their combined net retained liabilities to Wind River Re. Wind River Re also continues to maintain a book of unaffiliated, third-party reinsurance to complement the affiliated business.
These positive rating attributes are partially offset by the recent deterioration in the group's specialty insurance operations in the United States and its continued investment challenges associated with low new money yields. While attritional underwriting results improved in 2012, severe weather events, such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 were contributing factors to the organization's recent earnings shortfalls.
Factors that may lead to positive rating actions include Wind River Re generating operating performance measures that exceed industry sector averages, maintaining strong levels of risk-adjusted capitalization, reserve stability and the ability to meet projections. Factors that may lead to negative rating actions include any material decline in the organization's risk-adjusted capitalization, a continuation of below expected operating results and/or deterioration in reserves.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of "a" have been affirmed for Wind River Reinsurance Company, Ltd. and its following subsidiaries:
- Diamond State Insurance Company
- Penn-America Insurance Company
- Penn-Patriot Insurance Company
- Penn-Star Insurance Company
- United National Insurance Company
- United National Specialty Insurance Company
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
A.M. Best Company, Inc.
Rick Barracato, 908-439-2200, ext. 5787
Senior Financial Analyst
Joseph Roethel, 908-439-2200, ext. 5630
Assistant Vice President
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
KEYWORDS: United States Europe North America New Jersey
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