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A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Hiscox Ltd and Its Subsidiaries
LONDON, XX December 2013—A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of Hiscox Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited (Hiscox Bermuda), Hiscox Insurance Company Limited (Hisco) (United Kingdom) and Hiscox Insurance Company (Guernsey) Limited (Hiscox Guernsey). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb+” of Hiscox Ltd (Hiscox) (Bermuda), the ultimate parent holding company of the Hiscox group of companies. The outlook for the above ratings is stable.
A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” of Lloyd’s Syndicate 33 (United Kingdom), which is managed by Hiscox Syndicates Limited (HSL). The outlook for both ratings remains positive.
At the same time, A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” of Hiscox
Insurance Company, Inc. (HICI) (Chicago, Illinois, USA). The outlook for these ratings is stable.
The ratings of Hiscox, Hiscox Bermuda and Hisco reflect the Hiscox group’s strong consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation and robust performance record, as demonstrated by an average five-year combined ratio of 90%. Hiscox pursues a successful strategy of balancing volatile international catastrophe business with more stable local specialist business, which has supported its profitable performance in each of the last five years.
These positive rating factors are partially offset by the group’s significant exposure to catastrophe losses, through its property reinsurance account in particular.
The ratings of Hiscox Bermuda and Hisco factor the strategic importance of both companies to the Hiscox group. Each company has established a track record of good operating performance and has made a positive contribution to overall earnings during the last five years. The ratings of Hiscox Bermuda are extended to Hiscox Guernsey, which cedes the majority of its premiums to Hiscox Bermuda. The ratings of Hiscox Bermuda are also extended to HICI due to its role in and strategic importance to the Hiscox group. HICI receives explicit support from Hiscox Bermuda in the form of quota share reinsurance.
The affirmation of the ratings of Lloyd’s Syndicate 33 reflects the underlying strength of the Lloyd’s market, as well the syndicate’s strong performance record and enhanced financial flexibility from the support of Hiscox, which provides 72.5% of the syndicate’s capacity through its corporate member.
A factor that may lead to positive or negative rating actions for the syndicate is a change in the ratings of Lloyd’s, which currently has an FSR of A (Excellent) and an ICR of “a+”, both of which have a positive outlook.
Sustained strong performance and strong consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation could put positive pressure on the ratings of the Hiscox entities over the longer term. However, significant erosion of capital or prolonged weak performance could put negative pressure on the ratings.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides
a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology (external link).
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009, the following is a link to required disclosures: A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited Supplementary Disclosure (external link).
A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited is a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company. A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com (external link).
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