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13 Aug 2004
MOODY'S DOWNGRADES INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATINGS OF CERTAIN CENTRE GROUP COMPANIES TO Ba1; RATINGS OF CENTRE REINSURANCE (US) LIMITED AND SUPPORTED ENTITIES CONFIRMED AT A3
New York, August 13, 2004 -- Moody's Investors Service announced today that it has downgraded
the insurance financial strength ratings of seven Centre Group companies
to Ba1 from A3. In the same rating action, Moody's
confirmed the insurance financial strength ratings of Centre Reinsurance
(US) Limited ("CRUS"), ZC Specialty Insurance Company
("ZCSIC") and Centre Life Insurance Company ("CLIC")
at A3. The rating action concludes a review for possible downgrade
that was initiated on June 30, 2004 which resulted from a change
in the nature of support provided by Centre Group's parent,
Zurich Insurance Company ("ZIC" - insurance financial
strength at A2 and senior unsecured debt at Baa1-with a positive
outlook.). The outlook for the ratings on the non-supported
Centre entities is negative. The outlook for the ratings of CRUS,
ZCSIC and CLIC is stable.
According to Moody's, the A3 insurance financial strength
rating on CRUS considers the company's remaining net risk exposures
relative to its surplus and the underlying collateral backing certain
contracts, which were analyzed on a transaction by transaction basis,
by various intragroup reinsurance and capital support agreements as well
as the explicit support provided to CRUS by ZIC through an unconditional
guarantee. Based on its assessment of the guarantee agreement,
Moody's believes that the guarantee ranks equally with the senior
unsecured debt of ZIC. The one notch benefit for CRUS relative
to the senior unsecured debt rating of ZIC is based on Moody's assessment
of the stand-alone credit profile of CRUS, which is well-capitalized
relative to its assumed risks. Moody's also extended A3 insurance
financial strength ratings to ZCSIC and CLIC since they are beneficiaries
of net worth maintenance surety bonds provided by CRUS.
Moody's stated that the Ba1 insurance financial strength ratings
and negative outlook on the non-guaranteed Centre Group companies
reflect the rating agency's assessment of the remaining net risk
exposures (adjusted for underlying collateral backing certain contracts)
relative to surplus, its concerns regarding the potential for additional
adverse loss reserve development on Centre's remaining in-force
portfolio, the non-active status of Centre Group and the
lack of explicit parental support from ZIC.
Moody's noted that heretofore its ratings on Centre had been based
on the group's own credit profile, while also considering
the group's relationship with ZIC. In recent years,
ZIC has provided substantial support to Centre Group, including
the injection of $475 million of capital since December 2002 following
Centre's restructuring. According to Moody's,
the explicit guarantee of CRUS by ZIC and the lack of explicit support
for the remaining Centre entities signals that future support for ZIC's
non-guaranteed Centre entities may not be as strong as it has been
in the past. As the risk exposures at the Centre Group companies
run off over time, risk-adjusted levels of capital should
improve. In the interim, however, any adverse loss
reserve development will have a leveraged effect on surplus that could
lead to further downward rating actions on the non-guaranteed entities.
The following ratings have been confirmed with a stable outlook:
Centre Reinsurance (US) Limited - insurance financial strength
Centre Life Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at
ZC Specialty Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength at
The following ratings have been lowered with negative outlooks:
Centre Insurance Company - insurance financial strength to Ba1
Centre Insurance International Company - insurance financial strength
to Ba1 from A3;
Centre Reinsurance International Company - insurance financial
strength to Ba1 from A3;
Centre Reinsurance Limited - insurance financial strength to Ba1
Centre Solutions (Asia) Limited - insurance financial strength
to Ba1 from A3;
Centre Solutions (Bermuda) Limited -- insurance financial strength
to Ba1 from A3; and
Centre Solutions (US) Limited -- insurance financial strength to
Ba1 from A3.
Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability
of insurance companies to repay punctually senior policyholder claims
and obligations. For more information, visit our website
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
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