A.M. Best Co. announced that it has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A”- (Excellent) of Bermuda-based Exporters Insurance Company Ltd. (EIC) and its U.K. subsidiary Exporters Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd. Best changed the outlook on EIC from stable to positive; EIC Europe’s outlook is stable.
The rating reflects EIC’s “superior risk-adjusted capitalization and continued growth in capital and surplus,” said Best. It also recognizes the Company’s “conservative approach to investment management and its strong market position among its growing membership. Best said it expects EIC’s strong management “to lead the company effectively through global economic expansions and contractions.”
Best cited EIC’s and EIC Europe’s “potential exposure to significant net losses due to major localized or global economic downturns,” as a partially offsetting factor. “One of these downturns, experienced in 2001 and 2002, was due to financial difficulties in an emerging market country coupled with the contraction within the telecommunications industry,” Best explained. “In addition, premium rates for select credit and political risk insurance coverages in certain parts of the world have been constrained under competitive pressures. Rate concerns are mitigated by the recent firming of market rates and improvements in insurance policy terms and conditions.”
Best also observed that the recovery in EIC’s net income results for 2003, 2004 and into 2005 “is the result of loss activity returning to historical levels after the settlement of several large claims stemming from exposures in Argentina and to a lesser extent, other locales. Capital and surplus increases are due primarily to the retention of net income as well as additional capital raised from new members.”
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