Rating News on Everest Re, Zurich

November 17, 2000

Standard & Poor’s credit rating service assigned its double A minus counterparty credit and financial strength ratings to Everest Reinsurance (Bermuda) Ltd. (ERB), and A.M. Best announced that it had extended its A+ (Superior ) rating on Zurich Financial Services to the insurer’s U.K. based affiliates.

S&P noted that ERB was “a wholly owned subsidiary of the Everest Re Group Ltd.,” and therefore has the “implicit support from the parent.” It had $261 million in “hard capital as of Oct.31, 2000.”

The report noted that ERB was “a start-up entity,” and “is considered core to affiliate” Everest Re’s operations. “ERB faces market entrance hurdles and competition from established offshore Bermudian reinsurers that specialize in the same types of products,” S&P stated.

Best’s inclusion of Allied Dunbar Assurance Company, Eagle Star Life Assurance Company and Zurich Life UK recognized “their importance within the global group.”

“Together, these companies have a 4% share of the highly fragmented UK life and pensions industry and represent the 8th largest group. They serve all the major distribution channels and, following the acquisition of a majority of the sales force of Abbey Life, now hold the largest distribution force in the UK life and pension market,” stated the announcement.

“The group [Zurich Financial] is also a market leader in each of its four core businesses: property/casualty insurance, accounting for 50% of gross premiums written plus deposits; life insurance; reinsurance; and asset management, with US $ 435 billion in assets under management at mid-end 2000,” the report concluded.

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