A.M. Best Affirms and Assigns Ratings to AXA Canada Inc.'s Property/Casualty Insurance Subsidiaries

    OLDWICK, N.J., June 22 /CNW/ - A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial
strength ratings (FSR) of AXA Canada Inc.'s property/casualty insurance
subsidiaries and assigned issuer credit ratings (ICR). A.M. Best has affirmed
the FSR of A (Excellent) and assigned an ICR of "a" to AXA Assurances Inc.
(Montreal, Quebec) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Assurances agricoles
inc. (Montreal, Quebec). A.M. Best has also affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent)
and assigned an ICR of "a-" to AXA Insurance (Canada) (Ontario), AXA Pacific
Insurance Company (British Columbia), AXA General Insurance Company
(Newfoundland) and InnovAssur, assurances generales inc. (Montreal, Quebec).
The outlook on all ratings is stable.

    In addition, A.M. Best has assigned an ICR of "bbb" to AXA Canada Inc.
(Montreal, Quebec), the parent holding company. The outlook on this rating is

    The affirmation of the FSRs is a reflection of each company's respective
risk-adjusted capitalization, strong liquid balance sheet, profitable
operating performance, market leadership, respected brand name recognition and
the benefits they receive from synergies derived from common senior
management, corporate governance, centralized support functions and geographic
and product line diversification.

    These positive rating factors are partially offset by industry softening
in commercial lines underwriting; increased pressure from major competitors
for market share; the potential for adverse reserve development due to
construction liability claims in Western Canada; catastrophic earthquake
exposure in British Columbia and Quebec; and the uncertainty regarding the
long-term benefits of regulated product reforms to auto insurance in the
companies' major markets of Ontario and Alberta. These concerns are partially
mitigated by knowledgeable local management teams, a conservative reserving
philosophy and a comprehensive reinsurance program with primarily high quality
reinsurers to protect surplus.

    The ICR of AXA Canada Inc. is a reflection of the overall financial
strength, profitable operating performance and excellent business profile of
the underlying operating units and takes into consideration both the
property/casualty insurance sector and its life insurance operations. In
addition, the rating is based upon the credit risk implications of the holding
company being a separate legal entity and the normal subordination of its
creditors to the operating companies' policyholders.

    For Best's Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating
methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.

    Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a full-service credit rating
organization dedicated to serving the financial services industries, including
the banking and insurance sectors. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

For further information:

For further information: A.M. Best Company Analysts: Charles M. Huber,
908-439-2200, ext. 5122 charles.huber@ambest.com or Joseph A. Burtone,
908-439-2200, ext. 5125 joseph.burtone@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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