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Best affirms Everest’s A+ rating

Everest Re Group Ltd’s re/insurance subsidiaries have been affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (superior) and issuer credit ratings of “aa-” by AM Best Co. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect Everest Re’s consistently superior risk-adjusted capital position, long-term track record of generating favourable earnings and market profile as a leading global provider of insurance and reinsurance products, said the ratings agency.

Given its conservative financial leverage measures, Everest Re maintains strong financial flexibility with the ability to effectively manage its capital through market cycles, said Best.

The ratings agency said that cash flows from operations have also been consistently strong, while Everest Re’s balance sheet is supported by its conservative investment strategy with the current investment portfolio held at a shorter duration, and equities at less than 10 percent of total investments.

Best said it believes that Everest Re has maintained strong traditional risk management capabilities and has established an enterprise risk management framework that effectively identifies, measures and monitors existing and emerging risks across its respective businesses and enables the efficient allocation of capital.

Everest Re continues to benefit from a seasoned management team, which has successfully deployed its low-cost operating structure to profitably distribute its reinsurance and insurance products globally through a large network of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries, said Best. Due to its diversified product offering and geographic spread, the ratings agency believes Everest Re is well-positioned within its business sector to continue to perform in line with its peer group.

Somewhat offsetting these positive rating factors are the group’s exposure to large catastrophe losses, said Best.

The group also maintains net asbestos and environmental (A&E) exposure of approximately $530 million, said Best, which has been declining in recent years.

l Everest Re Group Ltd has also announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of 48 cents per share payable on or before September 14, 2011 to all shareholders of record as of August 31, 2011.

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Published August 18, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 18, 2011 at 9:35 am)

Best affirms Everest’s A+ rating

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