A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings for Commercial Risk Partners

December 4, 2003

A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength ratings to B (Fair) from B+ (Very Good) of Commercial Risk Reinsurance Company Limited (Hamilton, Bermuda) and its U.S. subsidiary, Commercial Risk Re-Insurance Company (Burlington, Vt.), together known as Commercial Risk Partners.

The companies are the insurance operating subsidiaries of the Bermudian holding company, Commercial Risk Partners Limited (CRP), ultimately wholly-owned by SCOR (Paris, France). The rating outlook for both companies has been changed to stable from negative.

The rating actions reflect the precipitous decline in capital of Commercial Risk Partners in the third quarter of 2003, resulting from further reserve strengthening during the quarter combined with a decline in unrealized gains which together have reduced the company’s risk-adjusted capital to a level that no longer supports a secure rating.

These actions have also taken into consideration weak historical and prospective operating performance as well as the limited market profile due to the runoff status of both companies. The rating is contingent on A.M. Best’s expectation that a commutation contract that has already been negotiated will be finalized by the end of 2003 and that Commercial Risk Partners will maintain consolidated risk-adjusted capital commensurate with its Fair rating.

Subsequent rating actions may be warranted if these expectations are not met or maintained.

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