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Insurance ratings actions: Fitch affirms Admiral Group; S&P affirms AIG MEA

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

U.S. and Canada

A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of A- and a long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" to Sharon, Pa.-based Synergy Comp Insurance Co. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect the company's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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Demotech assigned a financial stability rating of A, Exceptional, to Raleigh, N.C.-based First Benefits Insurance Mutual Inc.

This level of financial stability rating is assigned to insurers that possess exceptional financial stability in relation to keeping positive surplus with respect to policyholders, liquidity of invested assets, an acceptable level of financial leverage, reasonable loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, and realistic pricing, according to Demotech.

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Fitch Ratings downgraded the long-term issuer default rating of ProAssurance Corp. to BBB+ from A- and affirmed the insurer financial strength ratings of A of the company's subsidiaries ProAssurance Indemnity Co. Inc., ProAssurance Casualty Co., Eastern Alliance Insurance Co., Allied Eastern Indemnity Co., Noetic Specialty Insurance Co., Medmarc Casualty Insurance Co., ProAssurance Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., Podiatry Insurance Co. of America, Eastern Advantage Assurance Co. and PACO Assurance Co. Inc. The outlook is stable.

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Fitch affirmed with a stable outlook the long-term issuer default rating of A- of Doctors Co. An Interinsurance Exchange and the insurer financial strength ratings of A of the company and its subsidiaries American Physicians Assurance Corp., First Professionals Insurance Co. Inc., OHIC Insurance Co., TDC National Assurance Co., TDC Specialty Insurance Co. and Doctors Co. Risk Retention Group A Reciprocal Exchange.

The companies' ratings are based on very strong statutory capital position and sufficient loss reserve levels, which are countered by their business profile with premiums concentrated in medical professional liability insurance, and historically strong but more recently declining profitability and underwriting performance, according to Fitch.

Europe

Fitch affirmed the A long-term issuer default rating of the U.K.'s Admiral Group PLC and the A+ insurer financial strength ratings of the company's main operating entities Admiral Insurance (Gibraltar) Ltd. and Admiral Insurance Co. Ltd. The outlook is stable.

The affirmation considers Admiral Group's very strong financial performance and earnings, strong capitalization, leading position in the U.K. motor insurance market and favorable reserve development, Fitch said.

Middle East and Africa

S&P Global Ratings affirmed the issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings of AIG MEA Ltd. at A. The outlook stays negative.

The negative outlook was maintained due to potential downward pressure on the company's stand-alone credit quality. It also reflects the rating agency's view of AIG MEA's prospective position, which might stay under threat if the company's new strategy fails to lead to the anticipated profitable premium growth over the next two years, S&P Global Ratings said.

The rating agency views the company as a strategically important unit of American International Group Inc.

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed the issuer credit rating and insurer financial strength rating of BBB of Qatar-based Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance Co. QPSC. The outlook on the company was changed to stable from negative.

The rating agency said it expects the company to maintain satisfactory financial reporting standards and consequently avoid audit issues in the future.

The stable outlook considers Al Khaleej Takaful's current position within the Qatari market, aided by better-than-average operating performance, S&P Global Ratings said.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

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