Ratings Recap: Sompo (U.S.); Clarendon, Kentucky National

August 30, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and assigned an issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” to New York-based Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America (SJA). Best also affirmed the FSR of “A”- (Excellent) and assigned an ICR of “a-” to Sompo Japan Fire and Marine Insurance Company of America (SJFM). The outlook for all ratings is stable. “The ratings for SJA reflect its excellent capitalization, continued parental support and improving operating results,” said Best. “The ratings for SJFM reflect its extremely low underwriting leverage and the challenges inherent in entering the historically volatile California workers’ compensation market. Both SJA and SJFM benefit from their affiliation with Sompo Japan Insurance, Inc., one of the largest property/casualty insurers in Japan.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised its outlook on Clarendon National Insurance Co. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Clarendon America Insurance Co. to stable from negative. S&P also affirmed its ‘BBB+’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Clarendon. Both companies are ultimately owned by German reinsurer Hannover Rueckversicherung-AG (Hannover Re, rated ‘AA-“/Stable. The ratings actions “reflect Clarendon’s continuing strong explicit reinsurance support from Hannover Re,” stated S&P credit analyst Siddhartha Ghosh. “This support is in the form of a $250 million adverse development cover, continued progress toward an orderly execution of Clarendon’s run-off business, very strong capital adequacy, and substantially reduced disputed reinsurance recoverable balances as of the second quarter of 2007,” said S&P.

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “C-” (Weak) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “cc” of Kentucky National Insurance Company, as well as its negative outlook. Best subsequently withdrew the ratings, and assigned a category NR-3 (Rating Procedure Inapplicable) to Kentucky National. “The withdrawing of the ratings reflects Kentucky National’s inactive status, following the run-off of its business and its ensuing sale to First Kentucky Insurance LLC, which was finalized on August 8, 2007,” said Best. The rating agency added that the “parent has added capital to increase surplus to $6 million in anticipation of writing new business at a future date. Kentucky National will write automobile, homeowners, boats, mobile homes and various types of commercial insurance exclusively through independent insurance agents.”

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