A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICRs) of a of Argo Re Ltd. (Argo Re) (Pembroke, Bermuda) and its subsidiaries. A.M. Best also has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of bbb and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of the parent holding company, Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (Argo Group) (Pembroke, Bermuda) (NYSE: ARGO). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of bbb and the Long-Term IR of bbb on $143.75 million 6.5% senior unsecured notes due 2042 of Argo Group US, Inc. (Argo US) (headquartered in San Antonio, TX). These senior notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Argo Group. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
The ratings reflect Argo Groups balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
Argo Groups balance sheet strength reflects its risk-adjusted capitalization being at the strongest level, as measured by Bests Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), at each of the various value at risk levels. This also takes into consideration the strength of Argos reserves, the effective use of third-party capital, and enhanced financial flexibility as a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange with ready access to global capital markets. The groups operating performance is generally in line with its peers when considering its specialty U.S. insurance operations and international platforms. This is somewhat tempered by the groups expense ratio, which is consistently higher than peers. The ratings also consider the groups diversified operations around the globe, its multiple product offerings and multi-prong distribution strategy, as well as its investment in technology and initiatives to innovate and optimize efficiency. The ratings also acknowledge the breadth and maturity of Argo Groups ERM programs, which have been well-maintained and used to manage risk and setting business strategy.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of a have been affirmed for Argo Re Ltd. and its following subsidiaries:
- ArgoGlobal SE
- Argonaut Great Central Insurance Company
- Argonaut Insurance Company
- Argonaut Limited Risk Insurance Company
- Argonaut-Midwest Insurance Company
- Argonaut-Southwest Insurance Company
- ARIS Title Insurance Corporation
- Colony Insurance Company
- Peleus Insurance Company
- Colony Specialty Insurance Company
- Rockwood Casualty Insurance Company
- Select Markets Insurance Company
- Somerset Casualty Insurance Company
The following indicative Long-Term IRs available under various shelf registrations have been affirmed:
Argo Group International Holdings. Ltd. “ — bbb on senior unsecured debt — bbb- on subordinated debt — bb+ on preferred stock
Argo Group US, Inc. “ — bbb on senior unsecured debt — bbb- on subordinated debt
Argo Group Statutory Trust “ — bb+ on preferred stock
The following Long-Term IR has been affirmed:
Argo Group US, Inc. “ — bbb on $143.75 million 6.5% senior unsecured notes, due 2042
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Bests website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Bests Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Bests Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Bests Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Bests Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.
A.M. Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.
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