Ratings Recap: Hingham, Beazley (US), Kanawha, Genworth Mortgage

November 6, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to ‘B+’ (Good) from B++ (Good) and assigned issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “bbb-” to The Hingham Group and its members – Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Danbury Insurance Company, both of Hingham, Mass. The outlook for all ratings is stable. “Hingham is primarily engaged in writing homeowners’ insurance and dwelling fire products in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine,” Best noted.

A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating to ‘A’ (Excellent) from ‘A-‘ (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating to “a” from “a-” of Beazley Insurance Company, Inc. (BICI), which is based ion Farmington, Conn., with a stable outlook. “The ratings reflect the significant quota share reinsurance support provided by Beazley Group plc’ s (Beazley) managed syndicates at Lloyd’ s (623 and 2623) and the credit risk protection provided by Beazley,” said Best. “The ratings also reflect the solid risk-adjusted capitalization of BICI, derived from a sound business plan, which includes full operational integration into Beazley.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that its ‘BBB’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Kanawha Insurance Co. will remain on CreditWatch with positive implications following the announcement by Kanawha’s parent company, KMG America Corp., that it had a $224,000 pretax loss for the third quarter of 2007. S&P noted that the “loss was primarily related to an increase in incurred claims in Kanawha’s long-term care insurance business.” S&P credit analyst Neal Freedman stated: “We believe that this line of business is inherently volatile and has a greater impact on Kanawha’s overall profitability because of the company’s diminished earnings profile in 2007 compared with prior years. However, we also believe that the third-quarter long-term care insurance experience is not recurring in nature and not indicative of a deteriorating block of business. We are basing this conclusion on the block’s performance over an extended time period.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said that its ratings on “Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. (GMICO; AA/Stable/–) would remain unchanged following third-quarter results, which were in line with the expectations we outlined for the mortgage insurance industry in our Oct. 9, 2007, bulletin.” S&P indicated that it has expected “all mortgage insurers to report some deterioration in the third quarter. GMICO’s loss ratio for the quarter increased to 78 percent compared with 37 percent for the third quarter of 2006, but its loss ratio was the lowest in the sector by a considerable margin. Furthermore, GMICO’s loss ratio for the first nine months of 2007 was only 53 percent.”

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