Ratings Roundup: Travelers, Haulers

May 12, 2008

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned it’s ‘A-‘ rating to Travelers Cos.Inc.’s $500 million senior notes maturing in 2018. The company intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. “The counterparty credit rating on Travelers is based on the group’s very strong market position, strong operating performance, very strong operating company capitalization, and conservative financial leverage and coverage ratios,” stated S&P credit analyst John Iten. “Partially offsetting these strengths are the possibility of some further adverse development of reserves associated with the pre-merger liabilities of the St. Paul Fire & Marine Group and the company’s large exposure to asbestos claims.”

A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘A’ (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” of Haulers Insurance Company Inc. of Columbia, Tenn. are unchanged following the recent announcement that it has agreed to be acquired by Shelter Mutual Insurance Company of Columbia, Mo. Shelter’s FSR of ‘A’ (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” also are unchanged. “The all cash transaction is anticipated to close by the end of second quarter 2008 pending regulatory approval,” Best noted. “In the near term, Shelter has no plans to change the current operating structure or management of Haulers,” and Best said it “does not expect any significant change in Haulers’ favorable operating results and risk-adjusted capitalization.”

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