A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of American International Group, Inc. and Its U.S.
Property Casualty Subsidiaries
OLDWICK, N.J. -- January 25, 2013
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb” of American
International Group, Inc. (AIG) (New York, NY (NYSE:AIG). Concurrently, A.M.
Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the
ICRs of “a” of the members of the Chartis U.S. Insurance Group (Chartis US)
and the members of the Lexington Insurance Pool (Lexington) (both
headquartered in Boston, MA). At the same time, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR
of A (Excellent) and the ICR of “a” of American International Reinsurance
Company Ltd. (AIRCO), a Bermuda-domiciled reinsurer. The outlook for the
ratings above is stable.
In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICR of
“a” of AIU Insurance Company (AIUI) (New York, NY). The outlook for these
ratings is negative. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and
The ratings for the members of Chartis US reflect its supportive level of
risk-adjusted capitalization, generally solid operating earnings and its
leadership position in the global commercial lines insurance market.
Offsetting rating factors include the effect of soft market conditions on the
group’s recent underwriting and operating results, A.M. Best’s expectation of
continued adverse development of prior years’ loss reserves and the group’s
exposure to natural and man-made catastrophe losses. Chartis US has
historically demonstrated an ability to produce favorable operating results
despite variability in its underwriting performance; however, this ability has
been challenged in recent years. The stable outlook reflects AIG’s position in
the U.S. commercial market; its ability to lead, attract and retain clients by
leveraging its significant global capacity, extensive product offerings and
innovation; as well as its greater emphasis on technical pricing and
predictive modeling. While reserve development remains a concern, the stable
outlook suggests that any future reserve development will be within a level
acceptable to A.M. Best. A.M. Best also expects that the group will continue
to maintain a supportive level of risk-adjusted capitalization through
favorable net earnings while providing shareholder dividends to its parent in
accordance with historical norms.
Chartis US’ risk-adjusted capitalization declined slightly in 2012, primarily
as a result of losses related to Superstorm Sandy. These losses were partially
offset by a $1 billion capital contribution and lower net written premiums and
loss reserves. The resulting level of risk-adjusted capitalization is
well-supportive of the ratings.
The group has remained a leading provider of global commercial lines insurance
products, with an operating scope that remains a key differentiator in its
ability to provide products and services that meet the needs of global and
local insurers. Net written premiums continued to decline in 2012, primarily
as a result of underwriting actions. Premium and customer retentions improved
and favorable pricing actions begun in 2011 continued at an accelerated pace.
Further increases in rate levels are expected in 2013, although rate changes
may be of a lesser magnitude. However, despite these actions, underwriting
results remain under pressure, primarily as a result of losses due to
catastrophe and weather events.
Loss reserve movements have been more modest in recent years, following a $5.2
billion increase in loss reserves recorded in 2010. The transfer of Chartis
US’ outstanding asbestos reserves to National Indemnity Company (Omaha, NE) in
2011 has further stabilized reserves. A.M. Best’s estimated deficiency of the
group’s reserves has declined as a result of these actions, but it is A.M.
Best’s expectation that reserves will continue to develop adversely over the
The ratings for the members of Lexington (the pool) recognize its supportive
level of risk-adjusted capitalization, favorable development of prior years’
loss reserves over a number of years, consistent generation of positive
pre-tax operating and net income (even in years with significant catastrophe
losses) and its position as the largest excess and surplus writer in the U.S.
market. Offsetting factors include the effects of soft market conditions and
catastrophe and weather-related events on recent underwriting results and the
long-tailed nature of its excess casualty writings. The stable outlook is
based on A.M. Best’s expectation that favorable operating results will
continue to drive supportive levels of risk-adjusted capitalization despite
variability of underwriting results.
While the pool’s continued actions to reduce its exposure to natural and
man-made catastrophes have benefited its risk-adjusted capital level,
underwriting results in 2011 and 2012 reflect the effects of events that are
within management’s risk tolerance. Further reduction of the net impact of
catastrophe and significant weather events—which may be achieved through
further underwriting actions, rate increases and changes in the pool’s
reinsurance program—is expected during 2013. The generally favorable
development of prior years’ loss reserves also has contributed to the pool’s
supportive risk-adjusted capital position. Although the level of favorable
development is likely to decline in future years, A.M. Best anticipates that
Lexington will continue to benefit from even modest positive changes in
reserves in the future.
Lexington remains the largest provider of excess and surplus lines insurance
in the United States, with direct written premiums more than three times that
of its next largest domestic competitor. The pool has historically maintained
a significant expense advantage over its peers in the surplus lines composite,
which has offset its historically above-average level of loss and loss
adjustment expenses. Consistent generation of pre-tax operating and net income
has resulted in steady organic capital generation, although substantial
stockholder dividend payments in recent years have reduced the resulting
benefit to surplus. In more recent years, the gap in expenses between
Lexington and the industry as a whole has narrowed as it retains more risk and
receives less benefit of ceding commissions. It is A.M. Best’s expectation
that Lexington will continue to enjoy at least a several point advantage on
its expense ratio relative to the industry.
Lexington continues to maintain significant gross and net exposure to natural
and man-made catastrophes in the United States, although it has implemented a
series of underwriting actions to reduce that exposure through achievement of
higher rate levels, limits on aggregate exposures and reduced new business in
catastrophe-exposed areas. Historically, the pool experienced
higher-than-average loss and loss adjustment expenses than is typical for
surplus lines insurers as a result of these exposures. Concerns related to
this exposure continue to be tempered by Lexington’s ability to withstand
catastrophes as measured by A.M. Best’s catastrophe stress test and were
further enhanced by the minimal impact of losses from Superstorm Sandy on
risk-adjusted capitalization. As noted above, the effect of events that are
within Lexington’s risk tolerances have had a significant impact on
underwriting and operating results in 2011 and 2012.
AIRCO’s ratings acknowledge its supportive level of risk-adjusted
capitalization, the historical profitability of the business it assumes from
its affiliates and its role as the primary Bermuda presence for AIG.
Offsetting these factors are AIRCO’s historically limited direct business
profile, substantial gross exposure to a closed block of U.K. deferred and
payout annuities and the variability in reserves assumed from a U.K.
affiliate. The outlook reflects A.M. Best’s expectation that the company’s
business will continue to generate favorable results and that risk-adjusted
capitalization will be maintained at a level that is supportive of the
The ratings of AIUI reflect its adequate level of risk-adjusted
capitalization, historically favorable operating performance, restored focus
on core businesses and its long-standing presence in the Japanese insurance
market. Offsetting these rating factors are the variation in surplus and
premium revenue in recent years (related in part to its former quota share
agreement with a U.K. affiliate, which was novated in the fourth quarter of
2010), poor underwriting and operating results in 2011 and 2012 related to the
2011 Tohoku earthquake and the future role of AIUI within the AIG enterprise.
The outlook reflects these offsetting factors.
Historically, A.M. Best has considered parental support and financial
flexibility when evaluating AIG’s property/casualty subsidiaries. While there
is no specific consideration of those factors in the current ratings of the
companies, AIG has continued to strengthen its balance sheet through the sale
of non-core businesses, has negotiated improved terms for its syndicated bank
credit facilities and its financial flexibility has been improved by the sale
of the U.S. Treasury’s common equity position in the company.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” have been affirmed for the following
companies, which are collectively referred to as the Chartis U.S. Insurance
*National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pennsylvania
*The American Home Assurance Company
*Commerce and Industry Insurance Company
*Chartis Property Casualty Company
*Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania
*New Hampshire Insurance Company
*Chartis Insurance Company - Puerto Rico
*Chartis Insurance Company of Canada
*Chartis Casualty Company
*Granite State Insurance Company
*Illinois National Insurance Company
The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” have been affirmed for the following
companies, which are collectively referred to as the Lexington Insurance Pool:
*Lexington Insurance Company
*Chartis Specialty Insurance Company
*Chartis Excess Limited
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. Key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating
Process for Insurance Companies”; “Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings”;
“Rating Members of Insurance Groups”; “The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the
Rating Evaluation”; “Rating Natural Catastrophe Bonds”; “Understanding BCAR
for Property/Casualty Insurers”; and “Rating New Company Formations.” Best’s
Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information,
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
A.M. Best Co.
Jennifer Marshall, 908-439-2200, ext. 5327
Managing Senior Financial Analyst
Andrew Colannino, 908-439-2200, ext. 5327
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
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