A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Zurich American Insurance Company and Its Affiliates

  A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Zurich American Insurance Company and Its

Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J. -- November 21, 2013

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and
issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Zurich American Insurance Company
(Zurich US) (headquartered in Schaumburg, IL) and its property/casualty
pooling affiliates. Zurich US and its affiliates are subsidiaries of Zurich
Insurance Company Limited (ZIC) (Switzerland), the main operating company of
Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (Zurich) (Switzerland) [NYSE: ZURN]. The outlook
for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and

The ratings reflect Zurich US’ favorable trend of positive operating
performance over the past five years, strong level of risk-adjusted
capitalization and its comprehensive enterprise risk management practices.
Additional positive rating factors include Zurich US’ profile as one of the
top five writers of commercial property/casualty insurance in the United
States, the implicit and explicit support provided by Zurich and the strategic
importance of the US group to Zurich’s worldwide operations.

Somewhat offsetting these positive rating factors are the ongoing competitive
environment within the U.S. property/casualty markets and Zurich US’ exposure
to natural and man-made catastrophes.

Upward rating actions are unlikely at present. However, factors that could
lead to negative rating actions include deterioration in Zurich US’
underwriting and operating performance to a level below its peers, an erosion
of surplus that causes a decline in risk-adjusted capital to a level no longer
supportive of the group’s current ratings and any lessening of implicit or
explicit support from Zurich.

The FSR of A+ (Superior) and ICRs of “aa-” have been affirmed for Zurich
American Insurance Company and its following property/casualty pooling

  *Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland
  *Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company
  *Empire Indemnity Insurance Company
  *Universal Underwriters Insurance Company
  *Assurance Company of America
  *Maryland Casualty Company
  *Northern Insurance Company of New York
  *American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Company
  *American Zurich Insurance Company
  *Universal Underwriters of Texas Insurance Company
  *Steadfast Insurance Company
  *Zurich American Insurance Company of Illinois
  *Colonial American Casualty & Surety Company

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

A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance
rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

       Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A.M. Best Co.
Michael Russo, Senior Financial Analyst, 908-439-2200, ext. 5372
Michael Lagomarsino, CFA, Assistant Vice President, 908-439-2200, ext. 5810
Rachelle Morrow, Senior Manager, Public Relations, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Jim Peavy, Assistant Vice President, Public Relations, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
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