These challenges and other rating factors, which could lead to a downgrading of AXIS’ ratings or a revision in its outlook to negative, include unfavorable operating profitability trends, outsized catastrophe or investment losses relative to its peers, significant adverse loss reserve development and/or a material decline in risk-adjusted capital. Alternatively, factors that could lead to an upgrading of the company’s ratings include continued favorable operating profitability coupled with maintenance of strong risk-adjusted capital levels.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a+” have been affirmed for AXIS Specialty Limited and its following operating affiliates:
  • AXIS Re SE
  • AXIS Reinsurance Company
  • AXIS Specialty Europe SE
  • AXIS Surplus Insurance Company
  • AXIS Insurance Company

The following debt ratings have been affirmed:

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited—

-- “bbb+” on $500 million 5.75% senior unsecured notes, due 2014

-- “bbb-” on $250 million 7.25% non-cumulative preferred shares, Series A

-- “bbb-” on $250 million 7.50% non-cumulative preferred shares, Series B

-- “bbb-” on $400 million 6.875% non-cumulative preferred shares, Series C

AXIS Specialty Finance LLC (guaranteed by AXIS Capital Holdings Limited)

-- “bbb+” on $500 million 5.875% senior unsecured notes, due 2020

The following indicative ratings have been affirmed under the current shelf registration:

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited—

-- “bbb+” on senior unsecured debt

-- “bbb” on subordinated debt

-- “bbb-” on preferred stock

AXIS Capital Trust I, II & III (guaranteed by AXIS Capital Holdings Limited)

-- “bbb-” on preferred securities

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: “Understanding Universal BCAR”; “Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best's Ratings”; “Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings”; “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; and “Rating Members of Insurance Groups.” Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

If you liked this article you might like

How Well Do You Know Your Insurer -- and Its Reinsurer?

Buffett's Berkshire, Rivals Brace for Billions in Hurricane Harvey Claims

3 Financial Stocks Pushing The Sector Higher

Ex-Dividends To Watch: 3 Stocks Going Ex-Dividend Tomorrow: IRT, BXMT, AXS

Insider Trading Alert - AXS, FSB And MKC Traded By Insiders