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 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 © 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