Ratings Roundup: Transcontinental, Great Lakes

January 8, 2008

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings have both withdrawn their ratings on CNA Financial Corporation’s insurance subsidiary, Transcontinental Insurance Company, due to its merger on Dec. 31 into its direct parent company, National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. Fitch had given the Company’s insurer financial strength (IFS) an ‘A’ rating. S&P had rated Transcontinental’s counterparty credit and financial strength as ‘A-.’ All other ratings of CNA and its insurance subsidiaries are not affected by this action. S&P noted that the “merger is the final step of CNA’s multi-year initiative to streamline its legal structure by reducing the number of legal entities and states of domicile in the insurance group.”

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘B-‘ (Fair) of Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Company (GLCIC) of Grand Rapids, Mich. and has revised its outlook to stable from negative. Best also assigned an issuer credit rating of “bb-” to GLCIC with a stable outlook. “The ratings reflect GLCIC’ s 2006 accelerated premium growth, which strained its capitalization, consumed the time and efforts of management, as well as exacerbated the company’ s already below industry average earnings,” Best explained. “Furthermore, GLCIC’ s geographically concentrated book of business and limited product offering only amplified its exposure to competitive pricing and weather-related loss frequency within Michigan.”

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