Chronicle Journal: Finance

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Tall Pines Insurance Company

A.M. Best Co. has assigned a financial strength rating of B+ (Good) and an issuer credit rating of bbb- to Tall Pines Insurance Company (Tall Pines) (Burlington, VT). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings are based on Tall Pines good capitalization levels, its quality management team with numerous years of industry experience and its strong risk management program. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the companys high expense ratio and its narrow business scope as a single parent captive with limited stand alone financial flexibility. Tall Pines parent, Valhi Inc. (NYSE: VHI) has the capacity to support the captives capital position and has access to external capital.

Tall Pines risk management program includes regular visits to each plant location to assess risks. Loss control auditors generally visit the facilities twice a year, more frequently if needed (i.e., if construction is in progress or there is an increase in loss trends). The auditors find areas that need improvement and help the facilities implement methodologies and loss control practices. The facilities have a specified timeframe for implementation and must respond within the established guidelines.

The loss control program includes conferences, with presentations (some are third party) and case studies, which allow for interaction between the varying business units. Tall Pines works closely with the business units to track incident data and to report monthly and quarterly incident data to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Internal and external benchmarking techniques are used, primarily based on incident rates with the goal of reducing incident rates. The company hosts bi-annual safety conferences in North America and annual safety conferences in Europe in an effort to promote safety awareness education.

For current Bests Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Contacts:

A.M. Best Co.
Analysts
Gale Guerra, 908-439-2200, ext. 5069
gale.guerra@ambest.com
or
Steven Chirico, 908-439-2200, ext. 5087
steven.chirico@ambest.com
or
Public Relations
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com
or
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com

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