Best Affirms Rating for The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association; Outlook Stable

January 6, 2005

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) of The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Ltd (Steamship London) (London, England). The outlook has been changed to stable from negative, in line with the outlook for Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd (Steamship Bermuda).

The rating continues to reflect the strategic role that Steamship London plays within the Steamship companies as a whole, including Steamship Bermuda and The Steamship Mutual Trust.

In addition to protection provided by the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs, Steamship London benefits from annually renewable reinsurance from Steamship Bermuda, which currently covers 95% of the first USD 30 million of its net liabilities for any policy year and 100% of liabilities in excess of USD 30 million.

A.M. Best also believes that Steamship London’s current and prospective risk-adjusted capitalization is strong, factoring the company’s modest level of net exposure. Performance is likely to be excellent, again, supported by the substantial protection provided by the company’s internal and external reinsurance arrangements.

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