Ratings Roundup: York Fire, Tokio Millennium Re, BF&M Limited

August 29, 2008

A.M. Best Co. has placed the financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘B’ (Fair) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bb” of Ontario-based York Fire & Casualty Insurance Company under review with developing implications. “These rating actions are a result of the recent announcement by Kingsway Financial Services Inc., York’s parent, to sell the company to Quebec’s La Capitale, Compagnie d’Assurance Generale (See IJ web site – https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2008/08/26/93076.htm).Best said “York’s ratings will remain under review pending completion of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval. A fourth quarter 2008 closing date is anticipated. The ratings of Kingsway and its remaining operating subsidiaries are unchanged at this time.”

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘A+’ (Superior) and issuer credit rating of “aa-” of Bermuda-based Tokio Millennium Re Ltd. (TMR) with stable outlooks. TMR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Company, Ltd. (TMNF), the main trading subsidiary of Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., Best noted. “TMR serves as one of Tokio Marine Group’s key drivers of overseas expansion designed to geographically diversify the group’s aggregation of natural perils. TMR uses the global recognition and balance sheet strength of its parent for competitive advantage.” Best added: “The ratings reflect TMR’s excellent financial strength, overall favorable business performance and management profile. The excellent financial strength takes into consideration the parental support provided by TMNF and advanced risk management practice. TMR could experience unfavorable short run uncertainty due to the highly volatile nature of catastrophe risks and the cyclic pricing market in the reinsurance industry.”

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘A’ (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of BF&M Limited and its main operating subsidiaries, BF&M Life Insurance Company Limited (BF&M Life) and BF&M General Insurance Company Limited (BF&M General), all are Bermuda-based. The outlook for all ratings is stable. “The rating affirmations reflect the organization’s consistently positive net income, steady premium growth and strong capitalization,” said Best. “BF&M Life and BF&M General have consistently recorded premium growth, positive net income and net income growth for the last five years. The positive operating results have contributed to the strong level of capitalization for the organization. The capital levels at BF&M Life and BF&M General are more than adequate to support their current level of business and risk profiles.”

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