A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating of A
(Excellent) and issuer credit rating of "a+" to Essentia Insurance
Company (Essentia) (Chesterfield, MO). The outlook assigned to both
ratings is stable.
The ratings largely reflect the full rating enhancement afforded to
Essentia given its recent acquisition by Markel Corporation
(Markel) (Glen Allen, VA) [NYSE: MKL] and the implicit as well as
explicit support provided to Essentia by an affiliate, Evanston
Insurance Company (Evanston) (Deerfield, IL), in the form of a 100%
whole account quota share reinsurance agreement.
Effective January 2, 2013, Essentia was acquired by Markel from OneBeacon
Insurance Group, Ltd. (OneBeacon) (Bermuda) [NYSE: OB]. Prior to the
purchase, all prior-year liabilities were 100% reinsured by a OneBeacon
subsidiary. Historically, Essentia ceded the majority of its business to OneBeacn
Insurance Company. Essentia will continue to underwrite insurance
exclusively for the Hagerty Insurance Agency and the Hagerty Classic
Marine Insurance Agency (collectively known as Hagerty) throughout the
United States. Hagerty is the leading insurance provider in the world
for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car
owners. Through Hagerty, Essentia offers insurance for classic cars,
vintage boats, motorcycles and related automotive collectibles.
Any upward or downward revision in the ratings largely would be
dependent on the ratings of Evanston. Negative rating actions also could
result from lessening of support (implied or explicit) provided to
Essentia by Markel and Evanston.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit
Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M.
Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria
employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be
found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more
information, visit www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
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