Ratings Roundup: Amlin, United Barbados

May 6, 2010

A.M. Best Co. has commented that the ratings of the UK’s Amlin plc and its operating subsidiaries are unchanged. This follows Amlin’s announcement that it plans to establish a reinsurance platform in Zurich, Switzerland, to underwrite reinsurance business from European markets |See IJ web site – https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2010/05/05/109567.htm.] Best said the “capital to support this platform will be provided by redomiciling Amlin Bermuda Limited (ABL) (Bermuda) to Switzerland. ABL’s existing operations will continue in Bermuda as a branch of the redomiciled entity. The new platform is expected to benefit from Amlin’s excellent business profile and provide the group with enhanced business diversification. The risk-adjusted capitalization of ABL on a stand alone basis and Amlin on a consolidated basis is expected to remain excellent.”

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘A-‘ (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” of the Barbados-based United Insurance Company Limited, both with stable outlooks.The ratings reflect United’s “favorable capitalization, strong underwriting performance and solid regional market profile,” said Best. “In addition, United’s ultimate parent, Neal & Massy Holdings Limited, is one of the leading local business conglomerates and is publicly traded on the Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados stock exchanges.” Best also explained that United is a “leading insurer in several of its markets and enjoys excellent brand recognition throughout its regional operating territories. United has reported consistent underwriting and operating profits over the past several years as a result of prudent underwriting and conservative risk management strategies. This has enabled United to significantly enhance its capitalization, which remains more than adequate for its current rating level.” However, “the increasingly competitive regional markets in which United operates and its reliance on reinsurance as a catastrophe risk mitigation strategy,” should be considered as offsetting factors. “In addition, United’s risk profile has changed in recent years through its assumption of European and Asian exposure as part of its reinsurance segment. While this affords United some geographic diversification in its operations, the company is accepting risk in new markets.” Best said it would “continue to closely monitor United’s experience with these treaties for any adverse developments.”

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