A.M. Best , Fitch Ratings, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) released ratings updates. The following are some of the most recent:

Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd. and Allianz New Zealand Ltd.

S&P affirmed its 'AA-' rating on Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd. and 'A' rating on Allianz New Zealand Ltd. The outlooks on both remain stable. 

The affirmations acknowledge the insurers' strategic importance to their Munich-based parent Allianz SE (AA/Stable), S&P says. The local companies benefit from strong reinsurance as well as operational and financial expertise from the group.

The stable outlook on Allianz Australia reflects the outlook on the ultimate parent, Allianz SE. The ratings may be affected if the relationship between the local company and its parent changes.


Allstate New Jersey Insurance Group

A.M. Best Co. affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of Allstate New Jersey Insurance Group and its members. The outlook for all ratings is stable. 

The rating affirmations are based on Allstate New Jersey’s solid risk-adjusted capitalization, inclusive of the issuance of a $150 million surplus note from Allstate New Jersey to its parent, Allstate Insurance Co. in exchange for cash, which was completed April 17, 2009. Allstate New Jersey’s risk-adjusted capitalization had declined in recent years, driven by significant stockholder dividend payments to its parent and capital losses on its investment portfolio due to recent unfavorable market conditions, the rating agency says.


The Chubb Corp.

Fitch Ratings affirmed all ratings for The Chubb Corp., including the 'AA-' issuer default rating (IDR) and 'A+' senior debt rating. Fitch has also affirmed the 'AA' insurer financial strength ratings (IFS) of Chubb's property/casualty insurance subsidiaries, which are led by Federal Insurance Co. The rating outlook is stable.

The ratings continue to reflect Chubb's market position as a leading property/casualty insurer in its commercial and personal lines business segments, history of favorable underwriting performance, strong capital position at both the insurance subsidiary and parent holding company levels, and conservative investment portfolio, Fitch says.


Cooperative of American Physicians Insurance Co. Inc.

A.M. Best Co. assigned an FSR of A- (excellent) and an ICR of “a-” to Cooperative of American Physicians Insurance Co. Inc. (CAPIC). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect CAPIC’s strong capital position, favorable operating performance and appropriate reserve position, A.M. Best says. These positive rating factors are derived from the company’s primary role as a reinsurance carrier for Mutual Protection Trust.


The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

Moody's Investors Service affirmed the credit ratings of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its key operating subsidiaries, and changed the outlook of the company and its subsidiaries to stable from developing. The change in outlook is based on the stabilization of The Hartford's financial profile as a result of improved capitalization and parent company financial flexibility, Moody’s says. 

The Hartford's liquidity and capital position has been boosted over the last six months by a combination of $3.4 billion in funding through participation in the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Program, and an additional $900 million in common equity. Also, the recovery in investment markets and reversal of elevated levels of unrealized losses have reduced near term strain on the group's life insurance subsidiaries.


National Contractors Insurance Company Inc.

A.M. Best Co. assigned an FSR of B+ (good) and ICR of “bbb-” to National Contractors Insurance Company Inc., RRG. The outlook for both ratings is stable. 

The ratings reflect NCIC’s adequate capitalization and experienced management team as well as its solid business plan, which is also weighed into the profitability metrics of the rating, A.M. Best says.


PMA Capital Corp.

Fitch Ratings affirmed PMA Capital Corp.'s (PMACC) IDR and senior debt rating at 'BBB-' and 'BB+', respectively. Fitch also affirmed the 'BBB+' IFS ratings of the three active primary insurance subsidiaries collectively referred to as PMA Insurance Group, (PMAIG). The rating outlook for all ratings is stable.

Fitch's affirmation of PMAIG's ratings is a reflection of the company's improved underwriting performance, liquidity profile and minimal capital deterioration from investment losses, Fitch says. The rating agency notes that statutory policyholder surplus increased approximately 15% to $385 million through Sept. 30, 2009. The company's prudent investment portfolio that consists of 'AA+' average credit quality fixed income securities and zero common equities has performed better than the industry average portfolio.


SecuriCan General Insurance Co.

A.M. Best Co. assigned an FSR of B+ (good) and ICR of “bbb-” to SecuriCan General Insurance Co. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings of SecuriCan are reflective of its good risk-adjusted capitalization, improved operating performance and solid market presence as one of the leading pet insurers in Canada, the rating agency says. The company's improved underwriting results coupled with consistent net investment income have resulted in pre-tax operating gains in each of the last three years. This favorable trend also has continued through the first three quarters of 2009.


USAA  and its Subsidiaries

A.M. Best Co. affirmed the FSR of A++ (superior) and ICRs of “aaa” of United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and its property/casualty and life/health subsidiaries. Concurrently, A.M. Best affirmed the debt rating of “aaa” on the medium-term note program and the AMB-1+ on the commercial paper program of USAA Capital Corp. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The affirmations reflect USAA’s superior capitalization and strong operating results through focused business and financial strategies, A.M. Best says. USAA maintains diversified sources of earnings, capital accumulation and strong enterprise risk management with a full range of financial products and services to its membership of military and ex-military personnel and their dependents.



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