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A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Hiscox Insurance Company (Guernsey) Ltd.

OLDWICK, N.J. -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating (ICR) of "a-" to Hiscox Insurance Company (Guernsey) Ltd (Hiscox Guernsey), a specialist offshore insurer. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect Hiscox Guernsey's excellent risk-adjusted capitalisation, consistently strong financial performance and strong business profile for the specialist classes written. Additionally, Hiscox Guernsey benefits from the explicit support of other Hiscox group members.

Hiscox Guernsey's risk-adjusted capitalisation is enhanced by explicit support in the form of a comprehensive reinsurance programme placed principally with Hiscox Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd (Hiscox Bermuda). A.M. Best anticipates that Hiscox Guernsey will cede a substantial proportion of its gross written premiums during 2006, with the greater part placed with Hiscox Bermuda. A.M. Best believes that Hiscox Guernsey's capital and surplus is likely to increase to approximately USD 40 million at year-end 2006 (up from USD 30 million in 2005), which provides strong support for the company's residual net exposure.

A.M. Best believes that Hiscox Guernsey's strong financial performance is likely to continue in 2006 and 2007. As a result of the high level of reinsurance ceded, A.M. Best believes

that Hiscox Guernsey will be largely dependent upon overrider commissions to achieve profitability. However, excellent gross performance will continue to be sustained by the highly profitable nature of the niche lines underwritten.

A.M. Best believes that Hiscox Guernsey benefits from a strong business profile for its specialist lines of business, including kidnap & ransom and fine art. In A.M Best's opinion, it is a significant leader in the offshore fine art market and has a dominant position in the kidnap & ransom market.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at www.ambest.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 31, 2006
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