Golden Bear Co. Receives ‘B+’ Rating from Best

August 22, 2002

Calif.-based Golden Bear Insurance Company was recently assigned a “B+” (Very good) rating by A.M. Best. The rating reflects the company’s profitable operating results, relatively strong liquidity position and adequate capitalization.

These factors are supported by Golden Bear’s operating profitability over the past five years, favorable underwriting results and the benefits derived from substantial ceding and contingent commissions. The company has also generated good capital growth, despite the payment of principal and interest on a surplus note, as well as dividends to shareholders. Management continues to strengthen loss reserves for general liability policies relating to the 1992 through 1995 accident years, which have been largely impacted by the California Supreme Court’s Montrose decision in July 1995.

The factors are offset by the company’s elevated net leverage, moderated capital position, heavy dependence upon reinsurance and significant gross exposure to catastrophes.

Golden Bear Insurance Company specializes in commercial lines insurance underwritten on an excess and surplus lines’ basis primarily in California. The company also writes property and casualty business in Hawaii, and only casualty business in Arizona. Principal of business includes other liability, fire, auto liability and earthquake coverages.

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