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Announcement:

Moody's affirms ratings of Fireman's Fund; outlook stable

15 Dec 2010

U.S. property and casualty insurer and subsidiary of Allianz SE.

New York, December 15, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed its A2 insurance financial strength (IFS) ratings of members of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company intercompany pool (FFIC). The outlook for the ratings remains stable, consistent with the stable outlook on its parent, Allianz SE.

According to Moody's, the ratings on FFIC consider the company's intrinsic business and financial fundamentals as well as implicit and explicit support provided by its parent company, Allianz SE, one of the world's largest insurance groups (rated Aa3 for insurance financial strength). The A2 rating also recognizes FFIC's improved underwriting performance and business focus, its conservative investment profile and strong reinsurance protection, and its recognized brand identity in niche commercial (e.g. crop insurance) and high-end personal lines. An additional positive credit consideration is the Keep Well agreement provided by Allianz, which provides protection to Fireman's Fund, subject to an annually-reset retention limit, for underwriting losses incurred in 2009 and subsequent years on accident years 2003 and prior. In Moody's view, these strengths are tempered primarily by a difficult competitive underwriting environment in the general casualty segment, by Fireman's Fund's residual retained exposures to mass tort liabilities on business written in prior decades, as well as by its adequate but still not robust risk-adjusted capitalization. Other challenges include its business concentration in California -- its state of domicile -- and meaningful underwriting exposures to natural and man-made catastrophes. Although reserve strength appears to have been substantially restored in recent years and the company has some further protection available to it from its reinsurance cover with Allianz SE, reserve volatility remains a risk.

Factors that could result in a ratings' upgrade include: an explicit, unconditional and irrevocable guarantee from FFIC's parent company, Allianz, and/or an upgrade of Allianz's ratings; or FFIC's demonstrated ability to sustain improved operating results through the industry down cycle, together with substantial and sustained improvement in the group's risk-adjusted capitalization. Conversely, factors that could result in a rating downgrade include: deterioration of the financial strength and/or rating of Allianz, a reduction in implied and explicit forms of capital support from Allianz, or an erosion of Fireman's Fund's capital and surplus in excess of 10% over the course of a one-year period, gross underwriting leverage above 6 times, or a combined ratio consistently above 110%.

The following ratings have been affirmed with a stable outlook:

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength at A2;

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company of Ohio -- insurance financial strength at A2;

American Automobile Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength at A2;

Associated Indemnity Corporation -- insurance financial strength at A2;

National Surety Corporation -- insurance financial strength at A2; and

American Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength at A2.

Fireman's Fund, based in Novato, California, is engaged in commercial, specialty and personal lines property and casualty insurance throughout the USA. The group is wholly-owned subsidiary of Allianz SE, which is based in Germany and is one of the leading international insurance groups. For the first nine months of 2010, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and its subsidiaries reported combined gross written premiums of $3.7 billion, and statutory net income of $26 million, including a $300 million increase to reserves for asbestos and other mass tort liabilities in the second quarter of 2010. Statutory surplus for the combined Fireman's Fund insurance companies stood at $2.96 billion as of September 30, 2010.

The principal methodology used in rating the Fireman's Fund Insurance Companies is Moody's Global Rating Methodology for Property and Casualty Insurers, published in May 2010.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability of insurance companies to repay senior policyholder claims and obligations. For more information, visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.

For more information, visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.

New York
Alan Murray
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Robert Riegel
MD - Insurance
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's affirms ratings of Fireman's Fund; outlook stable
No Related Data.
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