Positive rating actions on Palms appear unlikely at this time. The potential for future volatility is reflected in the current rating level. Nonetheless, downward rating pressure could result from weakened free cash flow, a decline in the company’s liquidity levels, an increase in underwriting leverage and/or outsized catastrophe or investment losses in conjunction with a significant prolonged decline in risk-adjusted capitalization. In addition, financial issues resulting in rating pressure on NEECH could impact Palms' ratings.

A.M. Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world.

For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

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: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Alternative Risk Transfer (ART)”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; “Understanding Universal BCAR”; and “Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings.” Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

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 © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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