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Best’s News & Research Service - April 01, 2008 04:12 PM (EDT)

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Universal North America Insurance Company

OLDWICK, N.J. //BestWire// - A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” to Universal North America Insurance Company (UNAIC) (San Antonio, TX). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

UNAIC will operate as a property/casualty insurance company focused on providing personal dwelling, auto coverage and umbrella policies in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina and Georgia. Currently, UNAIC is capitalized with approximately $22 million from the contributions of the ultimate parent company, Universal Group, Inc. (Puerto Rico).

The assigned ratings reflect UNAIC’s solid capitalization, conservative business plan and experienced and highly regarded management team. The ratings for UNAIC also receive enhancement based on explicit support provided by Universal Group, Inc. In addition, UNAIC meets A.M. Best’s previously established requirements for new company formations and A.M. Best’s stricter risk-based capital requirements for property/casualty companies.

UNAIC’s current infrastructure is more than adequate to service present business requirements as well as anticipated growth. However, in addition to being susceptible to frequent and severe weather-related events, A.M. Best expects that UNAIC will be challenged by increased competition from established companies. Furthermore, the ability of the company to effectively build and retain market acceptance will only be proven over time. Accordingly, A.M. Best will closely monitor the quarterly performance of UNAIC against its stated business plan, and any material negative deviations in terms of management, earnings, capitalization or risk profile could result in downward pressure on the assigned ratings.

For Best’s Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit http://www.ambest.com/ratings.



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