A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of
A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "a" of Attorneys'
Liability Assurance Society, Inc., A Risk Retention Group (ALAS,
Inc.) (Burlington, VT). The outlook for both ratings is stable.
Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSR of A (Excellent) and the
ICR of "a" of Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society (Bermuda) Ltd.
(ALAS, Ltd.) (Bermuda) as it no longer serves as a risk-bearing entity.
Effective January 1, 2014, ALAS, Inc. and ALAS, Ltd. completed a
restructuring of their insurance operations. As of that date, ALAS, Ltd.
transferred all of its insurance risks to ALAS, Inc., thereby completing
its function as a reinsurer of lawyer professional liability risks. With
this restructuring, ALAS, Ltd. carries no insurance-related liabilities
on its books. Additionally, ALAS, Ltd. has re-domiciled to Vermont; and
subsequently, eliminated Bermuda from its name.
The affirmation of ALAS, Inc.'s ratings reflects its supportive
risk-adjusted capital, favorable operating performance and long-term
dedication to the lawyer professional liability market. In addition,
A.M. est recognizes the extensive loss prevention resources provided to
member insureds and the ALAS organization's strong enterprise risk
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the risks
inherent within the lawyer professional liability sector including price
competition, limited product line diversification and exposure to low
frequency/high severity claims. The outlook for ALAS, Inc.'s ratings is
based on its ability to maintain underwriting discipline and proactive
management of its capital position, along with a smooth and successful
transition of assets and liabilities formerly held at ALAS, Ltd.
While A.M. Best believes the ratings and outlook of ALAS, Inc. are well
positioned at the current level, factors that may lead to positive
rating actions include extended favorable operating results with
supportive growth in policyholders' surplus. Factors that may lead to
negative rating actions include, but are not limited to, adverse changes
in the lawyer professional liability market dynamics, protracted periods
of unfavorable underwriting experience or shifting policyholders'
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.
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 © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
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