A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Queen City Assurance Inc. and Vine Court Assurance Inc.

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a” of Queen City Assurance Inc. and Vine Court Assurance Inc. (both domiciled in Burlington, VT). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings are based on Queen City Assurance Inc. and Vine Court Assurance Inc.'s individual and combined profiles as single parent captives of The Kroger Co. (parent). The ratings also are based on both companies’ excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, substantial net income and underwriting profitability, a growing capital base, conservative investments and a strong adherence to the parent company’s robust risk controls and its overall risk culture. Additionally, return measures on a group and individual basis are consistently on positive levels reflective of the organization’s prudent pricing and deployment of capital.

These significant strengths are partially offset by the companies' risk concentration, which are the result of being single parent captives of the parent company, coupled with a substantial aggregate limit retained by the captives.

Key rating triggers that could result in a downgrading of the ratings include a precipitous decline in the companies’ risk-adjusted capital strength. Key rating triggers that could result in an upgrading of the ratings include a consistently profitable operating performance coupled with a substantial increase in risk-adjusted capitalization.

Either a rating enhancement or a deterioration in the capitalization of the parent could result in either an upgrading or a downgrading of the ratings of Queen City Assurance Inc. and Vine Court Assurance Inc.

A.M. Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world.

For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

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”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; “The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation”; “Evaluating Non-Insurance Ultimate Parents”; and “Alternative Risk Transfer (ART).” 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, visit www.ambest.com.

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

Contacts

A.M. Best Co.
Fred Eslami
Senior Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5406
fred.eslami@ambest.com
or
Steven Chirico, CPA
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5087
steven.chirico@ambest.com
or
Rachelle Morrow
Senior Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Sharing

Contacts

A.M. Best Co.
Fred Eslami
Senior Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5406
fred.eslami@ambest.com
or
Steven Chirico, CPA
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5087
steven.chirico@ambest.com
or
Rachelle Morrow
Senior Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com