MARCH 10, 2016 10:22 AM (EST)

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of QBE Insurance Group Limited and Its Key Subsidiaries


CONTACTS:
 David Drummond
Senior Financial Analyst – U.K.
+44 20 7397 0327
david.drummond@ambest.com

Dan Teclaw
Senior Financial Analyst – U.S.
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5394
dan.teclaw@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONDON - MARCH 10, 2016 10:22 AM (EST)
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited (United Kingdom), QBE Re (Europe) Limited (United Kingdom), QBE Insurance (International) Limited (Australia) and the pooled members of QBE North America Insurance Group. These companies are key operating subsidiaries of QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) (Australia), the non-operating holding company of the QBE group of companies. Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” of QBE Seguros, QBE’s Puerto Rico subsidiary and a part of its Latin American operations. At the same time, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb” of QBE and the issue ratings of “bb+” of the perpetual preferred securities. The outlook for all ratings remains stable. (See below for a detailed list of the issue ratings.)

The ratings reflect A.M. Best’s expectation that the group’s consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation will be maintained at a strong level. The group’s risk-adjusted capitalisation and financial leverage metrics improved in 2014 and in 2015, supported by a series of capital actions, which included the raising of equity, the refinancing of debt and the sale of non-core assets.

QBE benefits from a track record of good technical performance, as demonstrated by a five-year average combined ratio of 96% (2011-2015). Overall profits have been produced in each of the past five years, apart from in 2013, when a pre-tax loss was reported due to the write off of goodwill and intangible assets, primarily relating to the group’s North American business unit. For 2015, a combined ratio of 95% was reported, reflecting solid underwriting results across all QBE’s operational divisions and in spite of challenging conditions in its core markets.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a” have been affirmed, with a stable outlook, for the following pooled members of QBE North America Insurance Group:


  • Blue Ridge Indemnity Company

  • General Casualty Company of Wisconsin

  • General Casualty Insurance Company

  • Hoosier Insurance Company

  • National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Company

  • NAU Country Insurance Company

  • North Pointe Insurance Company

  • Praetorian Insurance Company

  • QBE Insurance Corporation

  • QBE Reinsurance Corporation

  • QBE Specialty Insurance Company

  • Regent Insurance Company

  • Southern Fire & Casualty Company

  • Southern Guaranty Insurance Company

  • Southern Pilot Insurance Company

  • Stonington Insurance Company

  • Unigard Indemnity Company

  • Unigard Insurance Company

The following issue ratings have been affirmed, with a stable outlook:

QBE Insurance Group Limited

— “bb+” on USD 550 million 6.797% perpetual preferred securities (issued by QBE Capital Funding II L.P. (Jersey) and guaranteed by QBE), of which USD 302 million remain outstanding

— “bb+” on GBP 300 million 6.857% perpetual preferred securities (issued by QBE Capital Funding L.P. (Jersey) and guaranteed by QBE), of which GBP 9 million remain outstanding

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.


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