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A.M. Best Assigns Initial Rating of "A-" (Excellent) to Durarock Underwriters Ltd. of Barbados

OLDWICK, N.J., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective November 25, 1996, A.M. Best Co. assigned a rating of "A-" (Excellent) to DuraRock Underwriters Ltd. of Barbados. The Company provides facultative and other reinsurance to United States and Canadian primary insurers. The rating reflects the company's strategic focus on capital accumulation, which has led to surplus and asset growth, good liquidity, excellent leverage and financial flexibility. The company also maintains strong marketing relationships with key trading partners including a leading international commercial lines group rated "A++" (Superior).

The group's operations are based in Barbados with the business developed on a direct basis with various primary insurers. The company's strategy is to provide reinsurance capacity to primary insurers that insure workers' compensation, occupational accidental death and dismemberment and commercial trucking liability for contractors, owners and operators in the transportation industry. The company's competitive advantages include its industry experience, affiliations with commercial insureds, synergistic relationship with primary insurers and technical capabilities.

In addition to the positive underwriting results, the company maintained its financial flexibility and realized exceptional results with net income increasing by 99%, total investments increasing by 12% and shareholder's equity increasing by 51%.

A.M. Best views the underwriting and risk control procedures followed by management to maintain solvency and capital as additional factors on which the evaluation was based. Exposure and investment strategies are designed to provide long-term capital accumulation and maintain a high level of financial security demanded by the marketplace. The investment portfolio is maintained with appropriate liquidity to meet cash requirements imposed on the company.

The rating outlook further reflects the company's excellent financial posture, competitive advantages, development of innovative products, marketing relationships with leading international insurers, experienced management team, and its focus on being a provider of capacity to the specialty market it services. A.M. Best views the company's outlook as stable and believes it is well positioned to continue to be a provider of capacity to its key insurers.

A.M. Best Company, established in 1899, is America's oldest and most widely recognized insurance rating and information source.

SOURCE A.M. Best Company
 -0- 11/25/96


/CONTACT: Gary Ketchum of A.M. Best, 908-439-2200, ext. 5197/ CO: DuraRock Underwriters Ltd. of Barbados ST: IN: INS SU: RTG

MP -- NYM094 -- 3685 11/25/96 11:30 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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