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A. M. BEST COMPANY RAISES RATING OF COMMERCIAL UNION INSURANCE COMPANIES TO "A" (EXCELLENT)

 OLDWICK, N.J., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective Jan. 20, 1993, A.M. Best Company has raised the pooled rating of the Commercial Union Insurance Companies (property/casualty), Boston, MA from "A-" (Excellent) to "A" (Excellent). This rating action reflects the group's conservative operating strategy, significantly improved operating earnings, high quality investment portfolio, and reduced operating leverage. The group's improved operating performance and capitalization follows the management's successful execution of a long-term corrective action plan initiated in the mid-1980s.
 "A.M. Best views Commercial Union's execution of their corrective plan as having satisfactorily addressed the group's major financial issues and has enabled management to refocus its underwriting efforts on its core commercial and personal lines of business. The group has virtually completed the run-off of non-core businesses, downsized operations and implemented several expense reduction strategies that have positioned the company to operate with improved profitability despite the soft pricing in the marketplace, and has reduced the group's operating leverage," said John H. Snyder, senior vice president of Best's property/casualty division.
 Commercial Union maintains strong and committed parental support from its parent, Commercial Union plc, one of the largest multiline insurers in the United Kingdom, as demonstrated by significant financial support made to the U.S. companies since 1984.
 The Commercial Union group reported nearly a 15 percent increase in surplus to $820 million during the first nine months of 1992 and a combined ratio of 108. The group had minimal losses from Hurricane Andrew as it writes relatively little business in Florida.
 The rating action applies to five inter-company pool members and three affiliates that either reinsure with the pool or receive the rating of a parent that is a pool member. The pool is led by the Commercial Union Insurance Company. Commercial Union Insurance Companies, a multiline insurer is among the 40 largest property/casualty underwriters in the United States, and has over $3 billion in assets.
 -0- 01/20/93
 /CONTACT: Christina Stein of A.M. Best public relations, 908-439-2200/


CO: Commercial Union Insurance Companies ST: Massachusetts IN: INS SU: RTG

AH -- NY071 -- 7025 01/20/93 15:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
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