Ratings Roundup: Employers; Argonaut; First Beacon

June 8, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A-” (Excellent) and assigned issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” to Employers Insurance Group and its two pooled property/casualty operating members, Employers Insurance Company of Nevada and Employers Compensation Insurance Company, based in Glendale, Calif. Best also assigned an ICR of “bbb-“to Nevada-based Employers Holdings, Inc. The outlook for all the ratings is positive. “The ratings reflect the group’s superior risk-adjusted capitalization, strong operating performance, prudent reserving and strong niche position as a leading workers’ compensation carrier focused on small to medium-sized employers,” said Best.

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” for the Argonaut Insurance Group of San Antonio, Tex. Best also affirmed the ICR of “bbb” of Argonaut Group Incorporated. Both the ratings have a stable outlook. Best also affirmed the FSRs of “A” (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a” for Colony Insurance Group, based in Richmond, Va. And the Rockwood Casualty Group of (Rockwood, Penna., as well as the FSR of “A-” (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” for Argonaut Great Central Insurance Company- based in Peoria, Ill. All of these companies are subsidiaries of Argonaut Group. The outlook for these ratings is stable. Best also affirmed Argonaut’s “bbb” and “bb+” debt ratings. “The affirmation of the ratings reflects the group’s improved capitalization, strong operating performance of its continuing business segments and favorable market position as a national specialty underwriter with strong relationships with its primary distribution force,” Best expalined.

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of “B++” (Good) and assigned an issuer credit rating of “bbb+” to First Beacon Insurance Company of Burlington, VT, with a stable outlook. First Beacon is a captive insurance company for Alcatel-Lucent. The ratings reflect its “robust capitalization, very low leverage measures, continued recent favorable operating performance and the strategic role it serves,” said Best

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