A.M. Best expects W. R. Berkley’s earnings to remain strong, with both its cash coverage ratios and financial leverage remaining supportive of its ratings. A.M. Best will continue to closely monitor both measures, particularly financial leverage, to ensure that all remain in line with A.M. Best’s expectations.The affirmation of the ratings and the outlook of Berkley Life and Health acknowledge its maintenance of a favorable risk-adjusted capital position, disciplined strategy to focus on the growth of core business segments and the financial and operational support of W. R. Berkley. The company is strategic to the organization’s expansion in the accident and health market, primarily medial stop-loss coverage. Potential positive rating actions are unlikely at this time; however, a favorable change in the outlook could possibly occur over the long term if the group exhibits notably enhanced operating results through market cycles, remains steadfast in maintaining a conservative reserve posture while avoiding adverse prior year loss reserve development and can sustain growth in earnings that lead to strengthened risk-adjusted capitalization and, in particular, improved financial leverage. Conversely, possible negative rating pressure could result from significant adverse reserve development, material deterioration in risk-adjusted capitalization, increased financial leverage and notable shortfalls in operating results and/or critical impediments to future earnings prospects. For a complete list of W. R. Berkley Corporation and its subsidiaries’ FSRs, ICRs and debt ratings, please visit www.ambest.com/press/121307wrberkley.pdf. 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. 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.