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Best downgrades outlook on Aspen Specialty


BOSTON--Surplus lines insurer Aspen Specialty Insurance Co. has received a negative outlook from A.M. Best Co., though the rating agency has affirmed the Boston-based insurer's A- financial strength rating.

Oldwick, N.J.-based Best said it downgraded its outlook on Aspen from stable because the insurer's "weak underwriting results fell well short of its business plan during the company's first three years in operation."

Best noted that while Aspen's management has extensive experience in the U.S. surplus lines market, new companies face "considerable" challenges entering the mature market.

But Best said Aspen has a strong capital base, a conservative investment profile, solid balance sheet liquidity and the support of its ultimate parent, Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. in Bermuda.

Aspen Specialty, founded in September 2003, writes property/casualty, excess/umbrella, professional liability, specialty construction and program business.