AM Best Information Services

MAY 23, 2008 12:00 AM (EDT)

A.M. Best Upgrades National Lloyds Insurance Company; Revises Outlook to Positive for American Summit Insurance Company

Raymond Thomson
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5621

Jeffrey Mango, CPA
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5204
Public Relations
Jim Peavy
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644

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


OLDWICK, N.J. - MAY 23, 2008 12:00 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and upgraded the issuer credit rating (ICR) to "a+" from "a" of National Lloyds Insurance Company (National Lloyds). The outlook for these ratings is stable. Concurrently, A.M. Best has revised the outlook to positive from stable, and affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICR of "a-" of American Summit Insurance Company (American Summit), an affiliate of National Lloyds.

Both companies are subsidiaries of NLASCO, Inc., which is owned by Hilltop Holdings, Inc. [NYSE: HTH]. The insurance companies are domiciled in Waco, Texas, and Hilltop Holdings is domiciled in Dallas, Texas.

The rating actions on National Lloyds reflect the company's continued solid underwriting performance, favorable risk-adjusted capitalization and local market expertise within their niche of the personal property insurance market. These positive rating factors are somewhat offset by National Lloyds' geographic concentration of risk primarily in the Texas marketplace and elevated underwriting expense ratio. The upgrade of the ICR to "a+" from "a" further reflects A.M. Best's acknowledgement of the company's sustained superior performance in relation to its peers.

The rating actions on American Summit reflect the company's favorable risk-adjusted capitalization, geographic spread of risk in moderately catastrophe prone areas and successful underwriting performance. These positive rating factors are somewhat offset by American Summit's elevated underwriting expense ratio and low investment yields. The positive outlook reflects A.M. Best's expectation that risk-adjusted capitalization and underwriting performance should continue to trend favorably.

For Best's Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit Best's Rating Center.

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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