OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating to “a” from “a-” of Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company (Stonebridge) (Columbus, OH), the property/casualty subsidiary of AEGON N.V. (AEGON) (Netherlands) (NYSE: AEG). The outlook for both ratings is stable.
The rating actions reflect Stonebridge’s sustained profitability and further recognition of its role and strategic importance as a member of AEGON’s U.S. operations, the explicit reinsurance support provided by Stonebridge Life Insurance Company (Rutland, VT), as well as the benefits of receiving implied support (if necessary) in the future.
In addition, the ratings recognize Stonebridge’s excellent capitalization, the synergies it gains from affiliates in the United States as well as management’s knowledge, specialty niche expertise and established market position in the travel insurance market. The rating outlook reflects the continuation of operating profitability, expected revenue and profits to be gained from newly established business partnerships as well as a commitment to maintain a level of capitalization that is supportive of its ratings.
A.M. Best believes that Stonebridge is well positioned at its current rating level. Negative rating actions could occur if risk-adjusted capital and/or operating performance falls markedly short of A.M. Best’s expectations and/or any sudden change in parental support.
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.
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