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Standard & Poor’s Corporation has reiterated its Issuer Credit Rating (ICR) and Financial Strength Rating (FSR) respectively on HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. (HCC - Snapshot Report) and its subsidiaries. The credit rating agency provided an ICR of “A” on HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. and an FSR of “AA” on certain subsidiaries of the company. It also confirmed the debt rating of “A” on the 6.3% senior notes worth $300 million scheduled to mature in 2019.

Additionally, S&P also affirmed the “Strong” rating on HCC’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process that identifies business downside risks and threats. All the affirmed ratings carried a stable outlook.

The rating affirmation came on the back of a number of factors that include HCC Insurance’s competitive strengths, strong balance sheet and continued underwriting performance.

Rating affirmations or upgrades from credit rating agencies play an important part in retaining investor confidence in the stock as well as maintaining creditworthiness in the market. We believe that HCC Insurance's  present score with the credit rating agency will help it write more business going forward.

Earlier in Mar 2013, another credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings affirmed its Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of “AA” on some of the subsidiaries of HCC Insurance and the Issuer Default rating (IDR) of “A+” on the parent company. It also affirmed the debt rating of “A” on the $300 million senior notes. All the ratings carried a stable outlook. Fitch affirmed the ratings owing to the strong financial position of the company, underwriting discipline and consistent profit generation.

Among other insurers, ProAssurance Corporation’s (PRA - Analyst Report) subsidiariescollectively known as ProAssurance Group, witnessed an upward revision in the FSR and ICR provided to it by credit ratings agency, A.M. Best. The FSR was revised upward to “A+” (Superior) from “A” (Excellent) and the ICR was upgraded to “aa–” from “a+”. The outlook on all the ratings was downgraded to stable from positive.

HCC Insurance currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). ProAssurance and other property and casualty insurers like HCI Group Inc. (HCI - Snapshot Report) and Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH - Analyst Report) carry a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and appear impressive.

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