A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” to Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc. (AIIC) (Boca Raton, FL). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable. These rating actions reflect AIIC’s intercompany reinsurance agreement with affiliates of AmTrust Group (AmTrust) (New York, NY). The ratings also recognize the financial support and flexibility provided by AmTrust’s publicly traded parent company, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NASDAQ:AFSI]. In June 2010, A.M. Best upgraded the FSR to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the ICRs to “a” from “a-” of AmTrust and its members. Those rating actions were based on the group’s solid balance sheet strength, sustained operating performance within its niche market segments and the benefits derived from AFSI, including AFSI’s commitment to maintain sufficient capital as well as to provide access to additional capital should it be needed to support AmTrust’s operations. The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition , which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; “ Rating Members of Insurance Groups”; “The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation”; “Assessing Country Risk”; and “Natural Catastrophe Stress Test Methodology.” Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.