S&P Affirms CNA Insurance (UK) ‘ A-‘ Ratings

April 2, 2004

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that it has affirmed its ‘A-‘ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on U.K.-based commercial and cargo lines writer CNA Insurance Co. Ltd. (CI) with a negative outlook
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“The ratings on CI are supported by a guarantee provided by U.S.-based Continental Casualty Co. (Continental Casualty; A-/Negative/–), and are therefore driven by the ratings on Continental Casualty,” indicated S&P credit analyst Simon Marshall.

S&P indicated that it expects “Continental Casualty to ensure that claims made by CI policyholders are paid and, as a consequence, the ratings on CI will move in tandem with those on Continental Casualty. The explicit support agreement meets Standard & Poor’s guarantee criteria.”

The rating agency also said it expects that the guarantee, which is due to terminate on Dec. 31, 2007, will be renewed “unless the stand-alone ratings on CI at that point are at the same level as the ratings on its guarantor. In the event that the guarantee is terminated, the existing policyholders at the time of termination will continue to be covered by the guarantee. If, for whatever reason, the guarantee is not renewed, the stand-alone ratings on CI are likely to be significantly lowered.”

“The negative outlook on CI reflects the negative outlook on its guarantor, Continental Casualty,” said the announcement.

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