Navigators Group Inc. And Operating Subsidiaries

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1 Navigators Group Inc. And Operating Subsidiaries Primary Credit Analyst: David S Veno, Hightstown (1) ; Secondary Contact: Laline S Carvalho, New York (1) ; Table Of Contents Rationale Outlook Base-Case Scenario Company Description Business Risk Profile Financial Risk Profile Other Assessments Factors Specific To The Holding Company Accounting Considerations Related Criteria And Research AUGUST 28, 215 1

2 SACP* Assessments SACP* Support Ratings Anchor a Business Risk Strong + Modifiers ERM and Management = a Liquidity + Group Support = Financial Strength Rating A/Stable/-- Holding Company Rating Financial Risk Very Strong Holistic Analysis Sovereign Risk Gov't Support BBB/Stable/-- *Stand-alone credit profile. See Ratings Detail for a complete list of rated entities and ratings covered by this report. Rationale Business Risk Profile: Strong Strong competitive position and broad geographic footprint Intermediate insurance industry and country risk assessment Financial Risk Profile: Very Strong Very strong capital adequacy projected through 217 Intermediate risk position, supported by significant reinsurance and conservative investment portfolio. Adequate financial leverage with track record of accessing capital markets Other Factors Adequate enterprise risk management (ERM) and management assessment and governance, as well as exceptional liquidity Very strong business risk profile and strong financial risk profile lead to possible anchor of either 'a+' or 'a' and we assign the latter reflecting our view of a potential change in the risk profile of the company and relatively narrow competitive position compared to peers Factors Specific to the Holding Company Navigators Group Inc. (NGI) depends on dividends from its regulated operating subsidiaries to meet its debt obligations and other cash requirements. The rating on NGI reflects its structural subordination to its regulated operating subsidiaries. AUGUST 28, 215 2

3 Outlook: Stable The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's Rating Services' view that NGI and its operating subsidiaries (collectively Navigators) will continue generating strong operating income as it expands its underwriting focus. We expect capital adequacy to remain redundant at the very strong level. Downside scenario We may lower our ratings if Navigators' operating performance deteriorates below peers' or its financial risk profile weakens as a result of significant adverse reserve development or an increase in potential volatility as a result of growth in business. Upside scenario We are unlikely to raise our ratings in the next two years. Any upgrade would depend on a sustainable material competitive advantage relative to peers. Base-Case Scenario Macroeconomic Assumptions Real GDP growth of about 2.4% in 215, and will remain sluggish with relatively inelastic demand for property/casualty (P/C) insurance products The 1-year Treasury rate to remain low but to steepen to 2.2% in 215 from 2.5% in 214, though will likely remain below historical levels, reducing investment income prospects Core Consumer Price Index of 1.9% for 215, which remains low and should alleviate concerns about inflation Neutral industry economic outlook for P/C insurers Company-Specific Assumptions Very strong capital adequacy Gross premium written (GPW) growth in the 8%-11% range in 215 and 216 Statutory combined ratio in the 95%-98% range during the next two years, including approximately 2%-4% of catastrophe losses Financial leverage less than 25% and fixed-charge coverage of at least 5x through 217 AUGUST 28, 215 3

4 Key Metrics (Mil. $) 216* 215* Gross premiums written 1%-15% increase 1%-15% increase 1,432 1, P/C net combined ratio (%) Return on revenue (%) Financial leverage(%) <25 < Fixed-charge coverage (x) >5 > S&P capital adequacy/redundancy Very strong Very strong Extremely strong Extremely strong Extremely strong *Forecast data reflect Standard & Poor's base-case assumptions. Company Description Navigators is a U.S.-based P/C specialty insurance underwriter that focuses on higher-severity and lower-frequency insurance coverage in the U.S. and international markets. The company writes causality business (37% of GPW in 214), ocean marine (25%), management and professional liability (13%), assumed reinsurance (13%), and energy and engineering (12%). Business is underwritten through Navigators Insurance Co. and Navigators Specialty Insurance Co. in the U.S. and Navigators Underwriting Agency - Syndicate 1221, a Lloyd's of London underwriting agency. The Lloyd's operations primarily underwrite marine, energy, construction, and professional liability insurance. Business Risk Profile: Strong We view the Navigators' business risk profile as strong as a result of its strong competitive position and widespread global geographic footprint. Insurance industry and country risk We believe Navigators faces intermediate insurance industry and country risk that is driven by a view of very low country risk and intermediate industry risks because, while it operates predominantly in the U.S., it also has operations in global P/C markets. Our view of Navigators' very low country risk stems from the potentially higher-income nature of these markets, as well as their relatively effective and stable political institutions, sophisticated financial systems, and strong payment culture (especially in the U.S.). We believe Navigators' P/C operations are exposed to intermediate industry risks because of the inherent product risk and consequent susceptibility to reserve volatility. The litigious environment in the U.S. also affects claims amounts and payment patterns. However, the stability of the U.S. insurance market's profitability, market growth prospects, and overall institutional framework offset this weakness. Table 1 Industry And Country Risk Insurance sector Business mix (%) U.S. P/C Intermediate risk 9.43 U.K. P/C Intermediate risk.5 AUGUST 28, 215 4

5 Table 1 Industry And Country Risk (cont.) Brazil P/C Intermediate risk 1.4 Norway P/C Low risk.27 Mexico P/C Intermediate risk 1.19 Russia P/C High risk 1.1 Colombia P/C Moderate risk 1.14 Australia P/C Low risk.37 Canada P/C Low risk 1.21 Global P&I Intermediate risk 2.84 Competitive position We view Navigators' competitive position as strong as it is well diversified within the U.S., with limited state concentrations. In addition, the company benefits from a global footprint with significant exposures in the U.K. and Canada. In 214, Navigators wrote $1.4 billion GPW, 73% of which was written out of the U.S. and U.K. branch, and 27% of which was written out of its Lloyd's Syndicate For 214, 87% of GPW was primary insurance, whereas 13% stemmed from the assumed reinsurance business. Management uses the assumed reinsurance business to selectively expand into to new sectors to support diversification and business growth. Table 2 Navigators Group Inc. -- Competitive Position (Mil. $) Gross premiums written 1,432 1,371 1,286 1, Change in gross premiums written (%) (5.5) Net premiums earned Change in net premiums earned (%) (3.4) Reinsurance utilization (%) Within the U.S. and Lloyd's divisions there are marine, P/C, and professional liability business lines. On a consolidated basis, Navigators' marine insurance remains its largest line of business, with 25% of GPW in 214. The direct P/C business line (U.S. primary and excess casualty, engineering, and energy) represented 49% of GPW and 13% came from professional liability. From a product perspective, Navigators' business is well diversified. However, as a specialty underwriter, its competitive position is limited relative to higher-rated peers. Navigators Underwriting Agency Ltd. manages Syndicate 1221, one of the larger marine-focused syndicates at Lloyd's. Since 26, Navigators has controlled 1% of the stamp capacity of Syndicate The group continues benefitting from a strong presence in the marine market and access to Lloyd's global licensing arrangements. Through these arrangements, Navigators has established a presence in emerging markets, such as Brazil and China. Management's underwriting strategy includes the expansion of its Lloyd's syndicate and its reinsurance business, as well as increased business volume in its U.S. excess and surplus business line. In addition, management may selectively choose to retain more of its existing business. Although these two business strategies may increase GPW, they may also somewhat change the risk profile of the company. Therefore, we expect GPW to increase by 8%-11% AUGUST 28, 215 5

6 and the company to report a combined ratio in the 95%-98% range, including 2%-4% of catastrophe losses in 215 and 216. Financial Risk Profile: Very Strong We regard Navigators' financial risk profile as very strong, driven by very strong capital and earnings, intermediate risk position, and adequate financial flexibility. Capital and earnings We view Navigators' capital and earnings as very strong and project its capital adequacy to be redundant at the very strong level through 216 in our base-case scenario. Navigators' capital adequacy is currently extremely strong, however, we expect capital to be somewhat pressured as the company grows its business and retains more risk. In addition, the volatility in earnings that subsided in recent years could return. Table 3 Navigators Group Inc. -- Capitalization Statistics (Mil. $) Common equity 1, Change in common equity (%) (3.1) 3.5 Total capital (reported) 1,291 1, Change in total capital (reported) (%) (2.7) 3.1 Table 4 Navigators Group Inc. -- Earnings Statistics (Mil. $) Total revenues 1, Net income (attributable to all shareholders) Return on shareholders' equity (reported) (%) P/C: net expense ratio (%) P/C: net loss ratio (%) P/C: net combined ratio (%) Return on revenue (%) ** before (un)realized capital gains/losses Navigators' earnings during the past have benefited from the release of prior-year loss reserves. We believe, though, that as the business grows and possibly becomes more complex, these reserve releases will moderate as the company evaluates the emerging risk within its growing book of business. Risk position Navigators' risk position is intermediate based on its diversified business profile, though it has exposures to potential volatility from some complex risks, such as directors and officers liability, offshore energy, and marine. However, the AUGUST 28, 215 6

7 company uses significant reinsurance through a comprehensive reinsurance program to mitigate these exposures. Table 5 Navigators Group Inc. -- Risk Position (Mil. $) Total invested assets 2,82 2,575 2,422 2,233 2,154 Net investment income Net investment yield (%) Investment portfolio composition (%) Cash and short-term investments Bonds Equity investments Because Navigators does not take large investment risks, the risk presented in its underwriting practice is somewhat mitigated. As of year-end 214, its investment portfolio was sufficiently diversified by sector and obligor. The portfolio was composed of 83% fixed-income securities, 7% common equities, and 1% cash and short-term investments. The fixed-income portfolio had an average credit rating of 'AA' and an average duration of 3.8 years. Management has a well-defended set of investment guidelines to ensure liquidity and mitigate asset devaluation from a single or combination of economic shocks. Financial flexibility We view Navigators' financial flexibility as adequate, supported by its track record of accessing the capital markets in past years. As of year-end 214, its consolidated financial leverage was 21.8% and EBITDA fixed-charge coverage was 8.3x, which support the ratings. Furthermore, we expect financial leverage to be less than 25% and fixed-charge coverage to be at least 5x during the next two years. Table 6 Navigators Group Inc. -- Financial Flexibility (x) Fixed-charge coverage Financial leverage including pension deficit as debt (%) Other Assessments We regard Navigators' ERM and management and governance assessment as adequate, and liquidity as exceptional. Enterprise risk management We view Navigators' ERM as adequate and consistent with our assessment of risk culture, risk controls, and risk models as neutral and partially offset by negative scores for emerging risk management and strategic risk management. Management has made enhancements to the ERM framework, including a more comprehensive and formalized framework to track the company's evolving risk profile. Other enhancements to modeling and strategic risk AUGUST 28, 215 7

8 management are viewed favorably. We believe management can identify and manage most key risk exposures, but any improvement in our view of ERM will depend on evidence of successful implementation of recent enhancements as the company grows its business. Management and governance We view Navigators' management and corporate governance as fair, driven by our neutral views of most aspects of management and corporate governance. Management remains focused on underwriting and volatility, as the company continues to build other supporting functions to keep pace with growth. In recent years, there has been a general strengthening in management with the hiring and integration of a new Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Actuary. Although this strengthening of management is viewed favorably, more seasoning of management in these positions is needed for us to change our view of the management and governance score. We have not identified any governance deficiencies in our assessment. Liquidity We regard Navigators' liquidity as exceptional as it generated strong net operating cash flow of $222.5 million in 214, and had access to approximately $27 million of cash and short-term investments as of Dec. 31, 214. Management's liquidity management strategy includes maintaining sufficient liquidity for three months of expected claim payments in each operating company, plus two years of holding company debt service, independent of subsidiary dividends. This strategy along with various borrowing facilities has not placed a strain on the company's liquidity position. AUGUST 28, 215 8

9 Factors Specific To The Holding Company Our rating on the holding company reflects its structural subordination to its regulated operating subsidiaries. Navigators Group Inc. (NGI) operating performance and debt-service needs depend on the operating subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends. In 215, Navigators Insurance Co. can pay a maximum of $89 million in dividends without prior regulatory approval to the holding company. As of March 31, 215, the holding company maintained cash and investments totaling of approximately $11 million, sufficient to cover its cash-disbursement requirements. Accounting Considerations NGI, a publicly traded insurance holding company, prepares consolidated financial statements according to generally accepted accounting principles. NGI prepares quarterly and annual financial statements for each of its U.S. insurance affiliates to conform to statutory accounting principles. Syndicate 1221 prepares financial statements according to the International Accounting Standards Board. Our analysis of all entities is based on GAAP accounting. We calculate the expense ratio differently than the company. Navigators' definition of the expense ratio is commission expenses plus other operating expenses, less other income (expense) over net premiums earned. We, on the other AUGUST 28, 215 9

10 hand, do not offset the numerator by other income (expense), but rather by commission income only--a component of other income (expense). Related Criteria And Research Group Rating Methodology, Nov. 19, 213 Insurers: Rating Methodology, May 7, 213 Enterprise Risk Management, May 7, 213 Management And Governance Credit Factors For Corporate Entities And Insurers, Nov. 13, 212 Refined Methodology And Assumptions For Analyzing Insurer Capital Adequacy Using The Risk-Based Insurance Capital Model, June 7, 21 Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 29 Ratings Detail (As Of August 28, 215) Holding Company: Navigators Group Inc. Issuer Credit Rating Local Currency Senior Unsecured Operating Companies Covered By This Report Navigators Insurance Co. Financial Strength Rating Local Currency Counterparty Credit Rating Local Currency Navigators Specialty Insurance Co. Financial Strength Rating Local Currency Issuer Credit Rating Local Currency Domicile BBB/Stable/-- BBB A/Stable/-- A/Stable/-- A/Stable/-- A/Stable/-- New York *Unless otherwise noted, all ratings in this report are global scale ratings. Standard & Poor's credit ratings on the global scale are comparable across countries. Standard & Poor's credit ratings on a national scale are relative to obligors or obligations within that specific country. Issue and debt ratings could include debt guaranteed by another entity, and rated debt that an entity guarantees. AUGUST 28, 215 1

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