AM Best

AM Best Comments on Credit Ratings of Core Specialty Insurance Holdings, Inc. Subs Following Hallmark Financial Acquisition


Dan Hofmeister, CFA, FRM, CAIA, CPCU
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5385

Steven M. Chirico CPA
Communications Specialist
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5087
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Al Slavin
Communications Specialist
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5098


OLDWICK - OCTOBER 10, 2022 10:09 AM (EDT)
AM Best has commented that the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” (Excellent) of StarStone Specialty Insurance Company and StarStone National Insurance Company, both domiciled in Wilmington, DE, and collectively are known as Core Specialty, remain unchanged following the announcement that Core Specialty Insurance Holdings, Inc. (Core Specialty) has completed its acquisition of Hallmark Financial Services, Inc.’s excess and surplus lines operations. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is positive.

Concurrently, AM Best has commented that the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” (Excellent) of Lancer Insurance Company and Lancer Insurance Company of New Jersey, a division of Core Specialty, also remains unchanged. The outlook of these ratings is stable. Both are headquartered in Long Beach, NY and are collectively referred to as Lancer Insurance Group.

The rating consistency reflects Core Specialty’s post-transaction, risk-adjusted capitalization, which is expected to continue to support AM Best’s opinion on Core Specialty’s balance sheet strength assessment. AM Best believes that the new business could be accretive to Core Specialty’s nominal operating performance and could introduce a modicum of earnings diversification benefit. Core Specialty’s business profile also could benefit from expansion and some geographic diversification. AM Best anticipates that enterprise risk management post-transaction will continue at Core Specialty’s current assessment of appropriate.

Uncertainty regarding the execution risk associated with any transaction is inherent. Offsetting AM Best’s concern is the strength of Core Specialty’s management team and corporate culture.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM 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 AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.

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