Best Affirms Rutland ‘B++’ Ratings

March 7, 2006

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has affirmed the financial strength rating of “B++” (Very Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb” of Rutland Insurance Ltd., a single parent captive of the U.K.’s Anglian Water Group plc (AWG). The outlook on both ratings remains stable.

“AWG consists of two main businesses: Anglian Water Services Limited (Anglian Water), which is geographically the largest water company in England and Wales, and Morrison plc (Morrison), a U.K.-based infrastructure construction and support services company,” Best explained. “The ratings reflect Rutland’s improved prospective risk-adjusted capitalization and strong liquidity position. An offsetting factor is the business dependence on a single source of insurance premiums.”

Best said it “believes that Rutland’s risk-adjusted capital position is likely to improve over the next two years from a very good position in 2005.” In its opinion, “projected decreases in premium income and loss reserves, as a result of better than expected claims run-off, are likely to reduce risk-adjusted capital requirements. Additionally, lower investment risk exposure is likely to positively impact Rutland’s risk-adjusted capitalization. In A.M. Best’s view, Rutland’s prospective overall liquidity is likely to remain strong as the company maintains the majority of its assets in liquidity funds or cash.”

Best also said it “believes that Rutland’s business profile is limited as it only insures risks related to Morrison. Premium income is expected to decline by approximately 20 percent by year-end March 2006 due to an expected reduction in premiums relating to employers’ liability risks.”

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