A.M. Best Affirms Ratings for Nationwide Group

December 6, 2004

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) of Nationwide Group (Nationwide). This rating applies to Nationwide’s four property/casualty pool members led by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Nationwide Mutual) (both of Columbus, Ohio) and its 22 reinsured affiliates.

In addition, A.M. Best has assigned an issuer credit rating of “aa-” to Nationwide Mutual. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the debt ratings of “a” on Nationwide Mutual’s existing surplus notes, and has assigned a debt rating of “a” to Nationwide Mutual’s $400 million contingent surplus notes. The outlook for all the above ratings is stable.

The rating of Nationwide is primarily based upon its strong capitalization and consistently improved operating results. Nationwide’s core book of business has generated strong underwriting profitability in recent years due to enhanced underwriting discipline, increased rates and numerous operating efficiencies implemented by management. In addition, Nationwide benefits from a diversified product offering that includes standard and specialty personal lines, surplus lines and commercial lines of business.

The rating also recognizes Nationwide’s market leadership position within the property/casualty industry, its multiple distribution channels and its decentralized operational structure that provides superior service to agents and policyholders.

The financial strength ratings of A- (Excellent) and B+ (Very Good) of Nationwide Insurance Company of Florida (NICOF) and Nationwide Indemnity Company (NIC) (both of Columbus, Ohio), respectively, remain under review with negative implications. These ratings will remain under review pending further discussions with management regarding recapitalization plans for both entities.

Currently, the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) of the Nationwide Financial Services’ core life insurance subsidiaries has a negative outlook.

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