Best Places Ratings for N.E.M. (West Indies) Ltd., Guardian General Under Review; Negative Implications

July 28, 2005

A.M. Best Co. has placed the financial strength ratings of A (Excellent) and B++ (Very Good) of N.E.M. (West Indies) Insurance Limited (NEMWIL) and Guardian General Insurance Limited (GGIL) (both domiciled in Trinidad & Tobago), respectively, under review with negative implications.

The under review status of GGIL is due to its expansion into Europe, principally in motor business and the effect of the additional writings on the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization.

As part of a recently completed restructuring, NEMWIL is now a wholly owned affiliate of GGIL; consequently, NEMWIL’s rating has also been placed under review.

A.M. Best acknowledges that GGIL is in the process of addressing its capital issues; however, the rating will remain under review pending the completion of discussions with GGIL’s management and receipt of all requested information necessary to evaluate the capital requirements needed to support the new lines of business. A.M. Best expects to conclude its analysis in the short term.

GGIL and NEMWIL are wholly owned affiliates of Guardian Holding Ltd. (GHL), a publicly traded holding company incorporated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. GHL, through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, is engaged in the underwriting of all classes of insurance business.

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