Market Overview

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Navigators Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries


A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A
(Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of
"a+" of Navigators Insurance Company and its wholly owned and
100% reinsured subsidiary, Navigators Specialty Insurance Company,
collectively referred to as Navigators. Both companies are domiciled in
New York, NY. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of
"bbb+" and the Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) on $265
million 5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2023, as well as the shelf
rating of "bbb+" on senior unsecured notes, "bbb" on subordinated notes
and "bbb-" on preferred securities of Navigators' publicly traded
ultimate parent, The Navigators Group, Inc. (NAVG) (Delaware)
(NASDAQ:NAVG). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is

At the same time, A.M. Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and
the Long-Term ICR of "a+" of Navigators International Insurance
Company Ltd.
(NIIC) (United Kingdom). The outlook of these ratings
remains stable.

The ratings of Navigators, which is considered the lead rating unit in
the NAVG enterprise, reflect its balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best
categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance,
favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management

The balance sheet strength assessment is derived from risk-adjusted
capitalization at the strongest level, which benefits from a high
quality investment portfolio and strong reinsurance protection.
Navigators also maintains solid liquidity measures, which compare
favorably with the averages for the commercial casualty composite. The
group benefits from the financial flexibility of its parent, NAVG, which
has modest financial leverage, and an ability to access the public debt
and equity markets if needed.

Navigators reported consistently profitable operating performance over
the recent five and 10-year periods. Average pre-tax operating returns
during these periods are generally in line with the averages for the
industry composite. Five-year average underwriting performance, as
measured by the combined ratio, has outperformed the composite peer
group. Net investment income is solid and has improved steadily over the
past five years, supported by a high quality investment portfolio.

The favorable business profile reflects Navigators' leading position as
a global provider of insurance to the marine sector, the group's
well-diversified Specialty book of business, the multi-channel
distribution platform that utilizes global, national and regional
brokers, as well as wholesalers, and management's conservative approach
to risk management, underwriting and claims handling.

A.M. Best views Navigators' ERM as appropriate for the group's size and
complexity of its underwriting, investment and other risks based on its
ERM framework and controls.

The positive outlooks for Navigators reflect its improved underwriting
and operating performance in recent years, along with a strengthening of
its risk-adjusted capitalization. The performance in its core lines of
business have benefited from strict underwriting discipline.

The ratings of NIIC reflect its balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best
categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating
performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings
also reflect the implicit and explicit support provided to NIIC by its
parent company, NAVG. NIIC commenced writing marine, casualty and
professional liability business in 2017, and benefits from the
established specialist market position of NAVG in Europe.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published
on A.M. Best's website. For all rating information relating to the
release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office
responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in
this release, please see A.M. Best's
Rating Activity
web page. For additional information
regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view
Best's Credit Ratings
. For information on the proper media
use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view
for Media - Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating
Action Press Releases

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