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A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Hallmark Insurance Group.

OLDWICK, N.J. -- A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR (Free System Resource) In Windows 3.x, the amount of unused memory in various 64K blocks reserved for managing current applications. Every open window takes some space in this area. See Windows memory limitation. ) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition or Image Character Recognition) The machine recognition of hand-printed characters as well as machine printing that is difficult to recognize. ) of "a-" of Hallmark Insurance Group (Hallmark Group) (Fort Worth, TX) and its operating members. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of "bbb-" of the group's holding company parent, Hallmark Financial Services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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, Inc. (Hallmark Financial) (Nevada) (NASDAQ NASDAQ
 in full National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations

U.S. market for over-the-counter securities. Established in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), NASDAQ is an automated quotation system that reports on
: HALL). The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)

The affirmation of the ratings reflects Hallmark Group's favorable fa·vor·a·ble  
adj.
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.

2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.

3.
 risk-adjusted capitalization, sustained operating profitability and the financial flexibility afforded by Hallmark Financial. Furthermore, the ratings consider Hallmark Group's organic surplus growth through profitable underwriting Underwriting

1. The process by which investment bankers raise investment capital from investors on behalf of corporations and governments that are issuing securities (both equity and debt).

2. The process of issuing insurance policies.
 performance in recent years and consistent favorable loss reserve development. In addition, the acquisitions of various agency production sources by Hallmark Financial have resulted in a greater geographic and product spread of risk for the group.

These rating factors are partially offset by Hallmark Group's above average net underwriting leverage and continued execution risk associated with the development of various parent company acquisitions. Since more than half of Hallmark Group's direct written premium is concentrated in three key states, earnings remain susceptible to increased competition and changes in the regulatory, judicial and legislative environments.

The FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of "a-" have been affirmed for the Hallmark Insurance Group and its following members:

* American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas

* Hallmark Insurance Company

* Hallmark Specialty Insurance Company

For Best's Ratings Best's rating

A rating A.M. Best Co. assigns to insurance companies based on the company's ability to meet its obligations to its policyholders.
, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.

The principal methodologies used in determining these ratings, including any additional methodologies and factors that may have been considered, can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 30, 2009
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