SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)

A.M. Best Upgrades and Removes From Under Review Ratings of Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Danbury Insurance Company


CONTACTS:
 Michael Russo
Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5372
michael.russo@ambest.com

Gary Davis
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5665
gary.davis@ambest.com
Rachelle Morrow
Senior Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK, N.J. - SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from B (Fair) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) to "a-" from "bb" of Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Hingham) and its subsidiary, Danbury Insurance Company (Danbury) (both domiciled in Hingham, MA). These ratings have been removed from under review with positive implications and assigned a stable outlook.

The rating actions follow the recent policyholder and regulatory approval of the participation of Hingham and Danbury in the intercompany pooling agreement of NLC Insurance Companies (NLC).

A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of "a-" for the new expanded pool, NLC Insurance Pool (formerly NLC Insurance Companies), which consists of New London County Mutual Insurance Company, its subsidiary, Thames Insurance Company, Inc. (both domiciled in Norwich, CT), Hingham and Danbury. The outlook for these ratings is stable.

The affirmations reflect that the addition of Hingham and Danbury into the intercompany pooling agreement will likely enhance the presence and distribution capability of NLC throughout its New England operating territory. Additionally, NLC's strong capitalization will provide sufficient time to fully integrate the new operations without materially impacting the pool's overall results or financial strength.

A.M. Best also has removed from under review with positive implications the FSR of B (Fair) and ICR of "bb" and assigned an NR-5 (Not Formally Followed) to the FSR and an "nr" to the ICR of The Hingham Group (Hingham, MA).

The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology - Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: "Natural Catastrophe Stress Test Methodology"; "Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers"; "Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings"; and "Rating Members of Insurance Groups." Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers.

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