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Press release from Business Wire

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Assurant, Inc.'s New Shelf Registration

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Assurant, Inc.'s New Shelf Registration16:21 EST Wednesday, November 09, 2011 OLDWICK, N.J. (Business Wire) -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned indicative ratings of “bbb” on senior debt, “bbb-” on subordinated debt and “bb+” on the preferred stock of Assurant, Inc.'s(Assurant) (headquartered in New York, NY) [NYSE: AIZ] recently filed universal shelf registration. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable. These assigned ratings recognize Assurant's diverse business mix, established presence in numerous niche markets, strong operating results and solid overall capitalization. As of September 30, 2011, Assurant's unadjusted debt-to-capital and debt-to-tangible capital ratios were 16.2% and 19.5%, respectively, while maintaining a fixed interest coverage ratio that is well supportive of its ratings. Assurant also maintains a $500 million commercial paper program, which is 70% secured by a back-up credit facility. Currently, Assurant's property/casualty companies have a financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a”, while its life/health companies have an FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICR of “a-”. The outlook for these ratings is stable. Future positive rating actions may result from Assurant's continued strong operating performance, along with its strengthened risk-adjusted capitalization. However, negative rating actions could result if operating performance falls markedly short of A.M. Best's expectations. This includes the impact that the poor macroeconomic environment may have on the group's revenue, profitability and distribution partners. The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers”; “The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation”; “Rating Members of Insurance Groups”; “A.M. Best's Ratings & the Treatment of Debt”; and “Natural Catastrophe Stress Test Methodology.” Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.A.M. Best Co.Brian O?Larte, 908-439-2200, ext. 5138Senior Financial Analystbrian.olarte@ambest.comorCarole Lovell, 908-439-2200, ext. 5445Public Relations Associatecarole.lovell@ambest.comorJennifer Marshall, 908-439-2200, ext. 5327Senior Managing Analystjennifer.marshall@ambest.comorJim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644Assistant Vice President, Public Relationsjames.peavy@ambest.com