A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Kinsale Insurance Company

Little Rock-March 09, 2010

A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” to Kinsale Insurance Company (Kinsale) (Little Rock, AR). The assigned outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings of Kinsale largely reflect its solid initial capitalization and the strong track record of its management team. The ratings also reflect A.M. Best’s expectation concerning the company’s ability to successfully execute its business plan targeting specific niches of specialty classes of surplus lines business. Upon A.M. Best’s review, Kinsale’s business plan appeared reasonable, considering prevailing market conditions.

These positive rating factors are offset by the considerable challenges and execution risk associated with a start-up company, especially those commencing operations in the very competitive market for surplus lines business, which will be Kinsale’s focus.

Kinsale is led by Michael P. Kehoe, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Underwriting Officer, who brings extensive insurance experience and a demonstrated track record of producing strong underwriting results. A.M. Best expects that Mr. Kehoe and the Kinsale management team will establish strong risk selection, underwriting, pricing and claim management controls to ensure adherence to the company’s developed operating plan for serving the market for hard-to-place, largely casualty-oriented, smaller surplus lines risks. Kinsale’s growth over its first few years in business is expected to be maintained at a level that its capital base can adequately support.

For Best’s Credit Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit Best’s Ratings & Analysis. The principal methodologies used in determining these ratings, including any additional methodologies and factors that may have been considered, can be found at Best’s Credit Rating Methodology.