A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Navigators Insurance Company, Its Subsidiary and The Navigators Group, Inc.

Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a+” of Navigators Insurance Company (Navigators) and its wholly owned and 100% reinsured subsidiary, Navigators Specialty Insurance Company (Specialty). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb+” and the debt ratings of “bbb+” on $265 million 5.75% senior unsecured notes, due 2023 as well as the shelf ratings of “bbb+” on senior unsecured notes, “bbb” on subordinated notes and “bbb-“ on preferred securities of Navigators’ publicly traded ultimate parent, The Navigators Group, Inc. [NASDAQ:NAVG]. Additionally, A.M. Best has withdrawn the shelf ratings on the preferred securities of Navigators Capital Trust I and Navigators Capital Trust II, as the shelf registration statement pursuant to which those securities were registered has expired. The outlook for all ratings is stable. All companies are domiciled in New York, NY.

The ratings reflect Navigators’ historically favorable operating performance and solid level of risk-adjusted capitalization. Furthermore, the ratings recognize Navigators’ leading position as a global provider of insurance within the marine sector as well as management’s initiatives aimed at balancing and diversifying Navigators’ portfolio while maintaining a conservative approach to underwriting and risk management.

Offsetting these positive rating factors is Navigators’ modest decline in underwriting results in a few recent years, driven by a combination of recent large industry-wide losses, reinstatement premiums, adverse loss development on certain lines and run-off operations. When needed, management continues to take corrective actions to address any problematic segments of its business.

Navigators continues to benefit from the financial and explicit support available from its parent company, The Navigators Group, Inc. Financial leverage for The Navigators Group, Inc. is at roughly 23% debt-to-total tangible capital and coverage and operating ratios fall within the requirements for the current rating level.

The stable outlook takes into account A.M. Best’s expectations that Navigators will maintain its strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization and generate operating profits, prospectively.

A.M. Best believes Navigators is well-positioned at its current rating level. However, negative rating actions could occur if there was a decline in its level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio or a significant deterioration in underwriting results.

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.

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Contact:
A.M. Best Company, Inc.
Adrienne Tortoriello, 908-439-2200, ext. 5088
Senior Financial Analyst
adrienne.tortoriello@ambest.com
or
Jennifer Marshall, 908-439-2200, ext. 5327
Assistant Vice President
jennifer.marshall@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com
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