A.M. Best Affirms Ratings Of Global Indemnity Plc And Its Subsidiaries

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "a" of Wind River Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (Wind River Re) (Hamilton, Bermuda) and its U.S. subsidiaries. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of "bbb" of the ultimate parent holding company of Wind River Re, Global Indemnity plc (Global Indemnity) (Dublin, Ireland) [NASDAQ: GBLI].

Also, A.M. Best has affirmed the indicative ratings on the shelf registration of "bbb" on senior unsecured debt, "bbb-" on subordinated unsecured debt and "bb+" on preferred stock of Global Indemnity. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies.)

At the same time, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a” of United National Casualty Insurance Company (United National Casualty) (Munster, IN) as Global Indemnity amended its pooling arrangement as United National Casualty was removed from the pool.

These ratings take into account Global Indemnity’s strong first quarter 2013 earnings announcement, the group’s solid capitalization, strong historical operating performance and diversified portfolio of specialty product offerings in the United States and reinsurance in Bermuda via Wind River Re. The U.S. subsidiaries of Global Indemnity operate under a single pooling agreement, whereby they pool their premiums and liabilities and cede 50% of their combined net retained liabilities to Wind River Re. Wind River Re also continues to maintain a book of unaffiliated, third-party reinsurance to complement the affiliated business.

These positive rating attributes are partially offset by the recent deterioration in the group’s specialty insurance operations in the United States and its continued investment challenges associated with low new money yields. While attritional underwriting results improved in 2012, severe weather events, such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 were contributing factors to the organization’s recent earnings shortfalls.

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