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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 January 2004 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 15 for the Current Guide to Best's Ratings or visit the A.M. Best Co. Web site at www.ambest.com/ratings/access.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.
atings Changed

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

Life/Health

New Blue Cross and Blue Shield of 64541 B++ NR-5
 Vermont
 US: Vermont

- Canada Life Insurance Co of 60378 A- A+ u
 Puerto Rico
 US: Puerto Rico

- Employers Reassurance 06976 A- A
 Corporation
 US: Kansas

- Old Standard Life Insurance 68103 C++ u B-
 Company
 US: Idaho

- Old West Annuity & Life 07957 C++ u B-
 Insurance Co
 US: Arizona

- Unity Mutual Life Insurance 07196 B- B
 Company
 US: New York

- Western United Life Assurance 08077 C++ u B-
 Company
 US: Washington

HMO

 Aetna Dental Maintenance 64020 NR-5 A-
 Organization
 US: Texas

- ConnectiCare Inc 68517 B pd B+ pd
 US: Connecticut

- ConnectiCare of Massachusetts 64464 B- pd B pd
 US: Massachusetts

 UNICARE Health Plan of Oklahoma 64633 NR-3 A-
 Inc
 US: Oklahoma

+ Vermont Health Plan LLC 64124 B++ B+ pd
 US: Vermont

Property/Casualty

- Capitol County Group 03920 B++ A
 US: Texas

- Capitol County Mutual Fire 03829 B++ A
 Insurance Co
 US: Texas

- Chicago Mutual Insurance Company 03138 B B+
 US: Illinois

 Commercial Mutual Insurance 11627 NR-4 B
 Company
 US: Georgia

- Commercial Risk Re-Insurance 11378 B B+
 Company
 US: Vermont

 Converium NA Group 18233 NR-5 A
 US: New York

 Cornerstone Mutual Insurance 11626 NR-4 B
 Company
 US: Georgia

 Covenant Group (GA) 18521 NR-4 B
 US: Georgia

- Farmers Mutual Insurance Company 10168 B- B
 (KS)
 US: Kansas

 GE Financial/P&C 05901 NR-5 A u
 US: Pennsylvania

 Heartland Lloyds Insurance 11636 NR-3 C
 Company
 US: Texas

+ Iowa American Insurance Company 03603 A B u
 US: Iowa

 Iowa Mutual Group 03907 NR-5 B u
 US: Iowa

+ Iowa Mutual Insurance Company 00528 A B u
 US: Iowa

- Medical Assurance of West 10902 B A-
 Virginia, Inc
 US: West Virginia

New Merchants Bonding Co (Mutual) 18618 A
 Group
 US: Iowa

- Mutual Fire Ins Co of 04198 C+ B
 Carroll Cty
 US: Maryland

+ National Automotive Insurance 11516 C+ C
 Company
 US: Louisiana

- National Service Contract Ins Co 11820 B++ u A- u
 RRG
 US: Hawaii

New Nations Bonding Company 12599 A
 US: Texas

New Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance 11218 B NR-1
 Company
 US: Florida

- Old Reliable Casualty Company 03807 B++ A-
 US: Missouri

New Omega One Insurance Company, Inc 11413 B+ NR-2
 US: Alabama

+ Steel Tank Insurance Co A Risk 11221 A- B++
 Ret Grp
 US: Vermont

+ Summit Insurance Company 01863 B++ B+
 US: Rhode Island

- Wisconsin American Mutual 04350 C++ B-
 Insurance Co
 US: Wisconsin

International

 Alliance Assurance Company 85105 NR-5 A-
 Limited
 United Kingdom

New Carraig Insurance Limited 75634 A-
 Ireland

+ CGNU Life Assurance Limited 85266 A pd B++ pd
 United Kingdom

+ CGU International Insurance plc 86250 A pd NR-5
 United Kingdom

- Commercial Risk Reinsurance 86514 B B+
 Company Ltd
 Bermuda

+ Commercial Union Life Assurance 87873 A pd B++ pd
 Company
 United Kingdom

- EIG-Ansvar Limited 86390 A- A
 New Zealand

New Knight Insurance Company Ltd 72139 B+
 Cayman Islands

New Lloyd's Syndicate 2001 48337 A s
 United Kingdom

New Lloyd's Syndicate 382 47902 A s
 United Kingdom

 Morley Pooled Pensions Limited 87494 A- pd NR-5
 United Kingdom

New New Technology Insurance 89076 A-
 Ireland

+ Norwich Union Annuity Limited 87492 A pd B++ pd
 United Kingdom

+ Norwich Union Insurance Ltd 85250 A pd NR-5
 United Kingdom

+ Norwich Union Life & 86137 A pd B++ pd
 Pensions Ltd
 United Kingdom

+ Norwich Union Linked Life 85265 A pd B++ pd
 Assurance Ltd
 United Kingdom

 Sea Insurance Company Limited 85107 NR-5 A-
 United Kingdom

 Skandia Insurance Company 85180 NR-3 A-
 Ltd (publ.)
 Sweden

 Stockton Reinsurance Limited 86506 NR-5 B++
 Bermuda

New Through Transport Mut Ins Asc 84975 B++ NR-5
 (EurAsia)
 United Kingdom

+ Through Transport Mutual Ins 87148 B++ B+
 Assoc Ltd
 Bermuda

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

atings Under Review

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

U CNA Group Life Assurance Company 07681 A u A
 US: Illinois

Property/Casualty

U Piedmont Mutual Insurance 11575 B- u B-
 Company
 US: North Carolina

U Sirius America Insurance Company 03758 A u A
 US: Delaware

U Transportation Casualty 00741 B+ u B+
 Insurance Co
 US: Florida

International

U Consumer Insurance Services 84340 A- u A-
 Limited
 New Zealand

U Credit & General Insurance 86476 A u A
 Limited
 New Zealand

U Fund American Reins Company, Ltd 83294 A- u A-
 Bermuda

U Sirius International Ins Corp 86396 A u A
 (publ)
 Sweden

U Sirius International Insurance 87839 A u A
 Corp Grp
 Sweden

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

UIDE TO BET'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

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
 Regulatory possibly their subsidiaries/
 Supervision affiliates) that have been placed
 by an insurance regulatory
 authority under a significant
 form of supervision, control or
 restraint where-by 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 Assigned to companies that have
 Liquidation 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 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 u Under Review A modifier that generally is
Modifiers 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

 Affiliation Codes 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 company 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 [c] 2003 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

Version 071503
COPYRIGHT 2004 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:insurance company ratings
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Excerpt
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:1702
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