AM Best

JUNE 16, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)

A.M. Best Comments on Ratings of NLC Insurance Companies

Michael Russo
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5372

Rick Decker
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5423

Public Relations
Rachelle Morrow
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378

Jim Peavy
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK, N.J. - JUNE 16, 2010 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of "a-" of NLC Insurance Companies (NLC) are unchanged following the recent announcement that it has entered into an affiliation agreement with The Hingham Group. Subsequent to the affiliation, The Hingham Group will participate in the intercompany pooling agreement led by New London County Mutual Insurance Company (Norwich, CT). The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2010, pending regulatory approval.

While the affiliation will likely enhance the presence and distribution capability of NLC throughout its New England operating territory, there is inherent execution risk of integrating the two organizations, particularly given the comparable size of The Hingham Group. A.M. Best anticipates that NLC's strong capitalization will provide sufficient time to fully integrate Hingham's operations without materially impacting the pool's overall results or financial strength. However, failure to successfully execute its strategies could potentially have a negative impact on the combined entity's ratings over the long term.

For Best's Credit Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit Best's Ratings & Analysis.

The principal methodologies used in determining these ratings, including any additional methodologies and factors that may have been considered, can be found at Best's Credit Rating 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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