A.M. Best Downgrades Rating of The Underwriter

July 15, 2003

A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength rating to B (Fair) from B+ (Very Good) of The Underwriter Insurance Company Limited (TU), United Kingdom, following the company’s announcement that the operation is to be placed in run-off. The outlook remains negative.

Subsequently, A.M. Best has changed this rating to NR-3 (Rating Procedure Inapplicable), a category applicable to companies in run-off.

In May 2003, A.M. Best downgraded this rating to B+ and maintained the negative outlook, highlighting concerns about TU’s loss reserves being in need of significant strengthening. At the time, A.M. Best predicated the maintenance of the B+ rating on the successful implementation of the company’s revised business strategy and projected restructure of the portfolio’s risk profile.

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