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

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

The ratings are based on Queen City’s and Vine Court's individual and combined profiles as single-parent captives of The Kroger Co. (parent) (Cincinnati, OH). 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’s robust risk controls and its overall risk culture. Additionally, return measures on a group and individual basis are consistently positive, reflective of the organization’s prudent pricing and deployment of capital. These significant strengths are partially offset by the companies' risk concentration, which is the result of being single-parent captives of The Kroger Co., coupled with a substantial aggregate limit retained by the captives.

Key rating triggers that could result in a ratings downgrade include a precipitous decline in Queen City’s and Vine Court’s risk-adjusted capital strength. Key rating triggers that could result in an upgrading of both companies’ ratings include a consistently profitable operating performance coupled with a substantial increase in risk-adjusted capitalization. Rating enhancement or a deterioration in the capitalization of the parent also could result in an upgrade or downgrade of the ratings.

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.

Key insurance criteria reports utilized:

• Alternative Risk Transfer (ART)

• Evaluating Non-Insurance Ultimate Parents

• Rating Members of Insurance Groups

• Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies

• The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation

• Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. 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 visit A.M. Best’s Ratings & Criteria Center.

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 © 2015 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
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
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
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
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com