Press Release - MARCH 12, 2014

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Palomar Specialty Insurance Company


CONTACTS:
 
Michael T. Venezia
Senior Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5034
michael.venezia@ambest.com


Gary Davis
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5665
gary.davis@ambest.com

Rachelle Morrow
Senior Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK - MARCH 12, 2014
A.M. Best has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating of "a-" to Palomar Specialty Insurance Company (Palomar Specialty) (La Jolla, CA). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

The ratings for Palomar Specialty are based on its favorable risk-adjusted capital position, following its recent commencement of business in the residential and commercial earthquake markets. The ratings also consider the company's experienced management team, which is familiar with the risks and the region in which it operates. Furthermore, management is committed to capital growth, a well-diversified investment portfolio and a focus on its long-term stability.

These strengths are partially offset by Palomar Specialty's geographic concentration of business in catastrophe-prone areas and significant reinsurance dependence. However, through its catastrophe mitigation strategies and a comprehensive reinsurance program, Palomar Specialty has reduced its net catastrophe leverage to a manageable level. The outlook is based on A.M. Best's expectation that the company will maintain its solid capitalization as premium levels increase over time.

Although the outlook for Palomar Specialty's ratings is stable and the ratings are not expected to be upgraded nor its outlook revised within the next 12-24 months, A.M. Best could downgrade the ratings and/or revise the outlook if the company's capital position declines materially, its operating performance and risk profile deteriorate or losses from claims and/or investments erode capital.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.


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AMB# Company Name
022031 Palomar Specialty Insurance Company