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Best's rating changes.

This summary of Best's Rating Changes includes life, health-care and property/casualty insurers domiciled in North America, as well as international insurers that had ratings assigned, changed or placed under review since this section last appeared in the September 2003 edition of Best's Review.

Best's Rating Changes is an abbreviated version of Best's Rating Monitor, which is published in BestWeek, our weekly insurance industry newsletter. See page 18 for the Guide to Best's Financial Strength Ratings or visit the A.M. Best Co. Web site at www.ambest.com/ratings/guide.html for detailed rating definitions.

The A.M. Best rating of any company and basic company information are "also available free of charge at the Web site.
Ratings Changed

Rating Current Previous
Action Company Name & Domicile AMB# Rating Rating

Life

 Acceleration Life Insurance Company 08472 NR-3 A-
 US: Ohio

+ AXA Corporate Solutions Life 09083 B+ B
 Reinsurance
 US: Delaware

- EMC National Life Company 06339 B++ A- u
 US: Iowa

- Munich American Reassurance Company 06746 A+ A++
 US: Georgia

 National Travelers Life Company 06806 NR-5 B+ u
 US: Iowa

HMO

 Coordinated Care Solutions of 04746 E NR-5
 Texas Inc
 US: Texas

 Health Plan of the Redwoods 68991 NR-5 F
 US: California

- XANTUS Healthplan of Tennessee Inc 68883 F E
 US: Tennessee

Property/Casualty

New Associated Industries Mutual Ins Co 12543 A- NR-5
 US: North Carolina

+ AXA Corporate Solutions 03811 B+ B
 Reinsurance Co
 US: Delaware

New Encompass Home and Auto Ins Co 12535 A- NR-3
 US: Illinois

New Encompass Independent Insurance 12536 A- NR-3
 Company
 US: Illinois

New Encompass Insurance Company of 11703 A- NR-3
 America
 US: Illinois

New Encompass Property & Casualty 11702 A- NR-3
 Company
 US: Illinois

New Guardian Insurance Company, Inc 11328 B+ NR-5
 US: U.S. Virgin Islands

- Legion Indemnity Company 11860 F E
 US: Illinois

- Legion Insurance Company 02352 F E
 US: Pennsylvania

- Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada 85770 A+ A++
 Canada: Ontario

+ North East Insurance Company 03108 B+ B
 US: Maine

 North East Insurance Group 02974 NR-5 B
 US: Maine

 Pacific Automobile Insurance Company 02880 NR-5 E
 US: California

- Pacific National Insurance Company 02376 F E
 US: California

 THI Holdings Group 18534 NR-5 A- u
 US: Ohio

+ Titan Indemnity Company 00548 A+ A- u
 US: Texas

+ Titan Insurance Company 10709 A+ A- u
 US: Michigan

- Transguard Insurance Company of 00327 A- u A
 America
 US: Illinois

+ Victoria Automobile Insurance 11688 A+ A- u
 Company
 US: Indiana

+ Victoria Fire & Casualty Company 00671 A+ A- u
 US: Ohio

+ Victoria National Insurance Company 12059 A+ A- u
 US: Ohio

+ Victoria Select Insurance Company 11689 A+ A- u
 US: Ohio

+ Victoria Specialty Insurance Company 12058 A+ A- u
 US: Ohio

- Villanova Insurance Company 12110 F E
 US: Pennsylvania

International

New Glencoe Group 89072 A
 Bermuda

- Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC 86160 A+ A++
 United Kingdom

- Monegasque de Reassurances S.A.M. 86909 NR-3 C-
 Monaco

- Muenchener Rueckversicherungs 86577 A+ A++
 Germany

- Munich Reinsurance Co of 86473 A+ A++
 Australasia Ltd
 Australia

- Munich Reinsurance Company of 86474 A+ A++
 Africa Ltd
 South Africa

- Munich Reinsurance Italy S.p.A. 86475 A+ A++
 Italy

- National Warranty Ins RRG 11609 F C- u
 Cayman Islands

- New Reinsurance Company 85060 A+ A++
 Switzerland

New Pioneer Insurance Company Limited 89069 B+
 New Zealand

 Reinsurance Australia Corporation 86440 NR-3 C-
 Australia

 Reinsurance Australia Corporation 86906 NR-3 C-
 Group
 Australia

Rating Action: (+) or (-) Rating upgraded or downgraded;
(New) Assigned initial rating; (u) Rating placed under review

GUIDE TO BEST'S FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATINGS

A Best's Rating is an independent opinion, based on a comprehensive
quantitative and qualitative evaluation, of a company's balance
sheet strength, operating performance and business profile.
Best's Ratings are not a warranty of a company's financial strength
and ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.

Financial Strength Ratings

A Best's Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an opinion of an
insurer's ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.

Rating Descriptor Definition

Secure

A++, A+ Superior Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a superior ability to meet their
 ongoing obligations to policyholders.

A, A- Excellent Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, an excellent ability to meet
 their ongoing obligations to policyholders.

B++, B+ Very Good Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a good ability to meet their
 ongoing obligations to policyholders.

Vulnerable

B, B- Fair Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a fair ability to meet their current
 obligations to policyholders, but are
 financially vulnerable to adverse changes in
 underwriting and economic conditions.

C++, C+ Marginal Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a marginal ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders, but
 are financially vulnerable to adverse
 changes in underwriting and economic
 conditions.

C, C- Weak Assigned to companies that have, in our
 opinion, a weak ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders, but
 are financially very vulnerable to adverse
 changes in underwriting and economic
 conditions.

D Poor Assigned to companies that, in our opinion,
 may not have an ability to meet their
 current obligations to policyholders and are
 financially extremely vulnerable to adverse
 changes in underwriting and economic
 conditions.

E Under Assigned to companies (and possibly their
 Regulatory subsidiaries/affiliates) that have been
 Supervision placed by an insurance regulatory authority
 under a significant form of supervision,
 control or restraint whereby they are no
 longer allowed to conduct normal ongoing
 insurance operations. This would include
 conservatorship or rehabilitation, but does
 not include liquidation. It may also be
 assigned to companies issued cease and
 desist orders by regulators outside their
 home state or country.

F In Liquidation Assigned to companies that have been placed
 under an order of liquidation by a court of
 law or whose owners have voluntarily agreed
 to liquidate the company. Note: Companies
 that voluntarily liquidate or dissolve their
 charters are generally not insolvent.

S Suspended Assigned to companies that have experienced
 sudden and significant events affecting their
 balance sheet strength or operating
 performance and whose rating implications
 cannot be evaluated or due to a lack of
 timely or adequate information.

Rating Modifiers and Affiliation Codes

A rating modifier can be assigned to indicate that a Best's Rating
may be subject to near-term change (under review), that a company
did not subscribe to Best's interactive rating process (public data)
and that the rating is assigned to a syndicate operating at Lloyd's.
Affiliation codes (g, p, and r) are added to Best's Ratings to identify
companies whose assigned ratings are based on group, pooling or
reinsurance affiliation with other insurers.

Modifier Descriptor Definition

Rating Modifiers

 u Under Review A modifier that generally is event-driven
 (positive, negative or developing) and is
 assigned to a company whose Best's Rating
 opinion is under review and may be subject
 to change in the near-term, generally
 defined as six months.

 pd Public Data Assigned to insurers that do not subscribe
 to Best's interactive rating process.
 Best's "pd" Ratings reflect qualitative and
 quantitative analyses using public data and
 information.

 s Syndicate Assigned to syndicates operating at Lloyd's.

Affiliation Codes g Group p Pooled r Reinsured

Not Rated Categories (NR)

Assigned to companies reported on by A.M. Best, but not assigned a
Best's Rating. The five categories are:

NR-1: Insufficient NR-2: Insufficient NR-3: Rating Procedure
Data. Size and/or Operating Inapplicable.
 Experience.

NR-4: Company NR-5: Not Formally
Request. Followed.

Rating Outlook

Best's interactive Ratings (A++ to D) are assigned a Rating Outlook
that indicates the potential direction of a company's rating for an
intermediate period, generally defined as the next 12 to 36 months.
Rating Outlooks, which appear in the rating rationale section of
the company's Best's Company Report, are as follows:

Positive Indicates a company's financial/market trends
 are favorable, relative to its current rating level and,
 if continued, the company has a good possibility of
 having its rating upgraded.

Negative Indicates a company is experiencing unfavorable
 financial/market trends, relative to its current
 rating level and, if continued, the company has a
 good possibility of having its rating downgraded.

Stable Indicates a company is experiencing stable
 financial/market trends and there is a low likelihood
 that its rating will change in the near term.

Best's Ratings are distributed via press release and/or the A.M.
Best Web site at www.ambest.com, and are published in the Rating
Monitor section of BestWeek[R]. Best's Ratings are proprietary and
may not be reproduced without permission.
COPYRIGHT 2003 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Ratings
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:1388
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