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A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. and Its Subsidiaries

Posted on 21 Jul 09

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of Argo Re Ltd. (Argo Re) (Hamilton, Bermuda) and its U.S. subsidiaries. A.M. Best also has affirmed the ICR of “bbb” of the parent holding company, Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (Argo Group). The outlook for all ratings is stable.

These ratings reflect Argo Re’s supportive capitalization, experienced management team, and the historical profitability of its U.S. subsidiaries. The specialty U.S. operations, which represent the core business of the Argo Group, are managed holistically as respects to capital, investment strategy and market presence. Argo Re, as the lead insurer, also assumes risk via a quota share reinsurance agreements with its U.S. subsidiaries. The ratings also reflect the favorable results to date of Argo Re’s growing book of unaffiliated, third-party reinsurance business comprised of short-tail coverages, mainly property catastrophe reinsurance. The ratings of the former Argonaut Insurance Group, Colony Insurance Group and Rockwood Casualty Group have been withdrawn.

The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” has been affirmed for Argo Re, Ltd. and its following subsidiaries:

* Argonaut Great Central Insurance Company
* Argonaut Insurance Company
* Argonaut Limited Risk Insurance Company
* Argonaut-Midwest Insurance Company
* Argonaut-Southwest Insurance Company
* Colony Insurance Company
* Colony National Insurance Company
* Colony Specialty Insurance Company
* Rockwood Casualty Insurance Company
* Select Markets Insurance Company
* Somerset Casualty Insurance Company

The FSRs of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” have been withdrawn and a category NR-5 (Not Formally Followed) has been assigned to the FSRs and an “nr” to the ICRs of Argonaut Insurance Group, Colony Insurance Group, and Rockwood Casualty Group.

For Best’s Credit Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit

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