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A.M. BEST CHANGES AMERICAN RELIANCE GROUP RATING

 OLDWICK, N.J., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A.M. Best Company today announced that, effective immediately, it has changed the rating of the American Reliance Insurance Group to an "NA-4" (Rating Procedure Inapplicable) to reflect the group's recent announcement to sell the bulk of its book of business and assets to Vik Brothers International USA, Inc. for a minimum of $21 million. The deal, which is expected to reach a definitive agreement by mid-February 1993, will ultimately transfer the American Reliance business into the Vik Brothers Insurance Group.
 The rating category of "NA-4" applies to companies that are retaining only a small portion of their writings and have a defined plan to run-off an existing book of business. A.M. Best had suspended the group's "A-" (Excellent) rating on Oct. 22, 1992 following its significant upward revision of net losses after tax and reinsurance from Hurricane Andrew from $20 million to $43 million. At that time, the group also announced a number of capital preservation initiatives, including the sale of the publicly owned entity, which triggered the rating suspension.
 John H. Snyder, senior vice president of Best's property/casualty division, stated, "The transaction will effectively preserve the American Reliance Insurance Group's franchise by turning the group into a division of the Vik Brothers Insurance Group. All of the American Reliance business, with the exception of the entire Florida book and New Jersey auto book, will be renewed into the Vik organization and will continue to be serviced by existing American Reliance agents and home office personnel. It will be a transparent transaction to the policyholders other than for receiving a policy issued from a Vik Brothers Insurance Group company. Furthermore, these policyholders will be backed by a more financially sound company."
 -0- 12/29/92
 /CONTACT: Christina Stein of A.M. Best Company public relations, 908-439-2200, ext. 5642/
 (ARI)


CO: American Reliance Insurance Group; Vik Brothers International USA,
 Inc. ST: IN: INS SU: RTG


GK-AH -- NY034 -- 0416 12/29/92 16:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 29, 1992
Words:332
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