Market Overview

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of AMEX Assurance Company


A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A
(Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a+" of AMEX
Assurance Company (AMEX Assurance) (Itasca, IL). AMEX Assurance is a
wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Company (American Express)
(NYSE:AXP). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect AMEX Assurance's balance sheet strength, which A.M.
Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its very strong operating
performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk

AMEX Assurance's very strong capitalization is reflective of its
conservative investment risk profile, generally favorable loss reserve
development trends and strong liquidity measures. Partially offsetting
these positive rating factors is the constrained surplus growth, as all
of the prior year's net income has been returned to American Express in
the form of stockholder dividends.

The very strong operating results have outperformed the commercial
casualty composite by a wide margin over the previous 10 years. Further
benefiting operating results is the favorable underwriting expense
structure due to its low cost direct marketing distribution platform.
Although AMEX Assurance's business profile has a limited scope as its
emphasis is on travel-related and other ancillary products offered to
American Express card members, it has an established reputation in the
market with a strong distribution channel.

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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