Standard & Poor's have been a leading provider of financial market intelligence for over 150 years, providing an independent credit assessment of the world's financial entities. They made headlines in 2011 by downgrading the US credit score, and again in 2012 by downgrading the scores of France and other European countries.
At the other end of the scale, they are also one of a few agencies that provide a security rating for legal indemnity insurers. They provide an opinion on the long-term sustainability of insurance contracts, taking into account their capacity to pay claims now and in the future. The score is given particular credibility in our market due to the majority of policies being provided in perpetuity, and the large potential liabilities that are underwritten.
You'd probably expect most legal indemnity insurers to have an excellent security rating, but that's not always the case. In fact, there are even some insurers that aren't given a rating at all. At Countrywide we have the advantage of being underwritten by Liberty Legal Indemnities who, as part of the Lloyd's syndicate, enjoy a security rating of A+ (strong) from Standard & Poor's. In addition, two other market-leading agencies, Fitch Ratings and A.M Best have scored Lloyd's A+ (strong) and A (excellent) respectively. These scores represent some of the highest ratings available, and are among the best in our market.
So why should our security rating matter to you? It means that when you obtain legal indemnity insurance from us for your clients and/or their lenders, you can reassure them that their investment is securely protected by the market leader. And it's also a particularly important factor for developers to consider when seeking legal indemnity insurance to support large commercial property transactions. Quite simply, our security rating provides your clients with assurance that if they need to make a claim, no matter how costly, we have the financial strength and capacity to handle it.