2013-12-13 22:22:01 -
A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a+” of W.R. Berkley Insurance (Europe) Limited (WRB Europe) (United Kingdom). The outlook for both ratings remains stable.
The ratings of WRB Europe reflect its good risk-adjusted capitalisation and evolving business profile. Additionally, the ratings reflect the explicit parental support in the form of an unlimited and unconditional guarantee provided by Berkley Insurance Company (BIC), a subsidiary of W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB).
WRB Europe is expected to maintain good risk-adjusted capitalisation, supported by full retention of earnings. The company reported an improved combined ratio of 96.4% for 2012 (compared with 100.8% in 2011), reflecting better loss experience and lower expenses.
Underwriting expenses were previously driven up by the start-up costs associated with establishing new branches. Based on the latest interim results, A.M. Best expects WRB Europe to report a 2013 underwriting result in line with 2012.
Offsetting rating factors are the inherent on-going reserve adequacy risks associated with the company’s UK professional indemnity business.
However, WRB Europe continues to diversify its portfolio, and is growing its non-casualty book, both inside and outside the United Kingdom. The company continues to be strategically important to its ultimate parent, WRB, as a means of accessing the UK and European insurance markets.
A positive movement in the ratings of BIC could lead to positive rating actions on WRB Europe.
Negative rating actions could occur if there were a significant deterioration in the risk-adjusted capitalisation or a notable and continuous deterioration in WRB Europe’s underwriting performance.
Additionally, any change in the company’s significance to its parent or in the explicit support provided by BIC could place downwards pressure on WRB Europe’s 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 : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww ..
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 : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww ..
A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited is a subsidiary of A.M.
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