AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a+" of Navigators International Insurance Company Ltd. (NIIC) (United Kingdom). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.
The ratings reflect NIIC's balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The ratings also reflect the implicit and explicit support provided to NIIC by its ultimate parent, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The Hartford), which includes a capital maintenance agreement from NIIC's intermediate parent, The Navigators Group, Inc. (NAVG), as well as NIIC's importance to the group to write U.K. corporate business outside Lloyd's post-Brexit.
NIIC commenced writing marine, casualty and professional liability business in 2017, and benefits from the established specialist market position, underwriting expertise and the NAVG brand. NIIC's future strategy is under review currently due to the U.K.'s expected withdrawal from the European Union. Nevertheless, the company is considered important to The Hartford's long-term strategic plan as a means to access the U.K. corporate market outside Lloyd's post-Brexit.
The balance sheet strength assessment reflects NIIC's very strong risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), its high quality investment portfolio and its comprehensive reinsurance protection. AM Best expects the company's risk-adjusted capitalisation to improve to the strongest level in 2019, reflecting a decrease in underwriting risk following the reorganisation of The Hartford group's operations in Europe.
NIIC's operating performance has been marginal since inception due to unexpectedly large claims and high start-up expenses. AM Best expects prospective underwriting results to be affected negatively by the company's lack of scale.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best's Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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