OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of the pooled members of Western World Insurance Group (Western World). Western World is ultimately owned by Validus Holdings Ltd. (Validus) (Hamilton, Bermuda) [NYSE:VR]. Validus completed its acquisition of Western World on Oct. 2, 2014. Validus’ flagship company is Validus Reinsurance Ltd., which maintains the FSR of A (Excellent) and an ICR of “a”. The outlook for all ratings is stable. All members of Western World are domiciled in Keene, NH.
The ratings reflect the group’s strong capitalization, historically conservative loss reserve philosophy, geographic diversification and the benefits derived from its solid business partnerships among select wholesale general agents and brokers. In addition, Western World maintains a strong leadership position in the U.S. excess and surplus lines sector.
These strengths are partially offset by the group’s historically elevated underwriting leverage, higher-than-average expense ratio, low new money yields and competitive pressures, which have restricted earnings during the most recent soft market period.
Following its acquisition by Validus, Western World’s management team has largely remained intact, and Western World operates as a separate entity under Validus. From a strategic standpoint, Validus has enhanced and expanded its business profile by providing a U.S. specialty commercial insurance distribution platform, and Western World has the ability to expand its current product offerings. It is anticipated that near term results will be skewed as Western World rebalances its underwriting book.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a+” have been affirmed for the following pooled members of Western World Insurance Group:
- Western World Insurance Company
- Stratford Insurance Company
- Tudor Insurance Company
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.