Rating Recap: Valiant, AXA Insurance

October 15, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has withdrawn the financial strength rating of ‘A’ (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a+” and assigned a category NR-5 (Not Formally Followed) to Des Moines, Iowa-based Valiant Insurance Company. “Effective October 1, 2007, Maryland Casualty Company (MCC) sold Valiant to the privately held Bermuda-based Ariel Holdings, Ltd.,” Best explained. Valiant had been a wholly owned stock subsidiary of MCC, a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services.

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 AXA Insurance Company. The outlook for both ratings is stable. The ratings are based on AXA Insurance Company’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, which is supported by an extensive reinsurance program and explicit and implicit support from the AXA Group,” said Best. The ratings also recognize the company’s stable strategy in recent years and its conservative investment portfolio and favorable liquidity.”

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