AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” (Excellent) of Sooner Insurance Company (Sooner) (Colchester, VT). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Sooner’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

Sooner’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), its generally favorable loss reserve development and low underwriting leverage. Sooner’s most significant asset is a loan back to its ultimate parent, ConocoPhillips [NYSE: COP]. The arrangement provides Sooner with capital and has a relatively low risk due to the parent/subsidiary affiliation, as well as ConocoPhillips’s strong balance sheet and history of positive earnings.

Sooner has a sustained track record of strong operating performance, driven by solid underwriting profits, with most return metrics outperforming the industry composite. The company’s loss experience has been largely favorable for more than a decade due in large part to ConocoPhillips’s strong risk management programs. As a core component in ConocoPhillips’s ERM program, the captive arrangement affords the corporation flexibility to efficiently and productively manage potential large losses.

Sooner’s neutral business profile assessment reflects its position as the primary captive insurer for its ultimate parent. Sooner’s underwriting risks mainly provides property damage and excess liability coverage to ConocoPhillips and its global subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Sooner’s ERM demonstrates a culture of risk awareness and a framework to identify and manage various types of risks continually, including periodic reviews of its potential loss exposures through a specialist within industrial risks, a process AM Best views as very appropriate for the company’s risk profile. The ratings also reflect the implicit and explicit support of ConocoPhillips and the strategic role the captive plays in its parent’s ERM program.

AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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Kourtnie Beckwith Senior Financial Analyst +1 908 882 1649 kourtnie.beckwith@ambest.com

Daniel Teclaw Director +1 908 882 2390 dan.teclaw@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey Associate Director, Public Relations +1 908 882 2310 christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Al Slavin Senior Public Relations Specialist +1 908 882 2318 al.slavin@ambest.com

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