Following are snapshots from AM Best's more than 120 years of history, along with key dates in the development of our product line. Check out our chronology of events for a complete list of company milestones, or learn more about our founder, Alfred M. Best.
1899 – The Alfred M. Best Company Inc. began in a 10-by-12-foot office on Liberty St. in New York, NY, with the goal of reporting on the financial stability of insurers and the insurance industry.
1900 – Introduced Best’s Insurance Reports - P/C, a compilation of credit reports on property/casualty insurers, plus the monthly supplement that became Best’s Review.
1904 – Baltimore Conflagration: Best’s investigation highlighted the value of an objective opinion on insurer financial stability.
1905 – Developed the first insurance company credit ratings.
1906 – Introduced Best’s Insurance Reports – L/H.
1907 – Introduced Best’s Key Rating Guide – P/C and the first alphabetical credit rating scale.
1912 – Introduced the Combined Ratio: This at-a-glance snapshot of an insurer’s underwriting performance is still used today in assessing insurer financial strength.
1906 – The San Francisco Earthquake and Conflagration: "Best’s Special Report Upon the San Francisco Losses and Settlements” was published in 1907 – a turning point for AM Best and the insurance industry.
1914-1918 – World War I: Alfred M. Best helped draft legislation regarding German-owned insurers with assets in the U.S. and served as an expert witness in cases such as the Black Tom Munitions Depot explosion.
1929-1932 – The AM Best Seal of Approval: The Alfred M. Best Company “Seal of Approval” became a sought-after mark of financial stability during the Great Depression.
As the 20th century advanced, AM Best launched a number of publications. Many are still available today.
1928 – Introduced Best’s Key Rating Guide – L/H.
1929 – Introduced Best’s Recommended Insurance Attorneys.
1930 – Introduced Best’s Directory of Adjusters and Investigators, now available along with Attorneys and Expert Service Providers in Best’s Insurance Professional Resources.
1940 – Introduced Best’s Aggregates & Averages – P/C.
1943 – Introduced Best’s Weekly News Digest, now known as BestWeek.
1941-1945 – World War II: Despite manpower and supply shortages, AM Best continued to innovate in assessing the impact of political and economic conditions around the world.
1958 – Alfred M. Best passed away at age 81. He was named Insurance Man of the Year by the Federation of Insurance Counsel, and in 1962 he was posthumously inducted into the Griffith Foundation’s Insurance Hall of Fame. Incoming President and Chairman Arthur Snyder Sr. accepted the award.
1965 – Relocated to Park Ave., Morristown, NJ. Every week, AM Best’s corporate pilot flew content for the annual publications to be printed and bound at The Hamilton Printing Company in Albany, NY.
1964 – Introduced Best’s Financial Suite.
1968 – Introduced Best’s Loss Control Reports.
1975 – Introduced Best’s Underwriting Reports.
1975 – Introduced Best’s State Rate Filings.
1984 – Introduced BestLink, an online access platform.
1986 – Introduced BestESP electronic statement preparation software.
1984-1989 – Introduced Best’s Insurance Reports – L/NL, Non US and issued first credit ratings on insurance companies outside the U.S. and Canada.
1968 – Introduced mainframe computer and created first electronic statement file.
1974 – Relocated to current global headquarters on Ambest Rd. in Oldwick, NJ.
1996 – Introduced insurance industry news coverage in real time via the AM Best website.
1994 – Held first AM Best's Annual Review & Preview Conference, a forum where insurance industry leaders address key issues and trends.
1994 – Introduced Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio.
1999 – AM Best celebrated its 100-year anniversary.
2000 – Introduced BestDay, a daily insurance newsletter.
1997 – Established A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Ltd. and A.M. Best Europe – Information Services Ltd. in London.
1999 – Established A.M. Best Asia Pacific Ltd. in Hong Kong.
2000 – Expanded Oldwick headquarters, more than doubling the facility from 100,000 square feet to 250,000+ square feet.
2001 – 9/11: AM Best addressed the impact of the terrorist attacks via teleconferences with industry leaders and extensive coverage in its news publications. Company personnel worked to locate affected customers and replace lost inventory of AM Best publications.
2005 – Opened AM Best’s television-quality video production studio to create insurance industry webinars and other content.
2012 – Established a branch of the London office in the Dubai International Finance Centre, UAE.
2008 – Alfred M. Best posthumously inducted into the Insurance Media Association’s Insurance Media Hall of Fame.
2008 – Introduced the desktop application for US property/casualty companies Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio Model – P/C, US.
2010 – Launched Best’s Library Center, an online service available exclusively to public and academic libraries.
2011 – Launched what is now known as Best’s News & Research Service, providing comprehensive access to AM Best’s news and analytical content.
2012 – Added two new rating services in addition to the existing Best’s Interactive Credit Rating Service: Best’s Rating Assessment Service and Best’s Rating Evaluation Service.
2012 – Held the first AM Best’s Insurance Market Briefing - Bermuda in Hamilton.
2014 – Established A.M. Best América Latina, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico City.
2015 – Established A.M. Best Asia-Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd in Singapore.
2018 – Established A.M. Best (EU) Rating Services B.V. in Amsterdam.
2013 – Introduced Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio Model – Universal capital modeling tool for single and group insurance companies in the Life and Non-Life sectors.
2014 – Introduced Best’s Journal, a compilation of AM Best-originated reports and studies, as part of Best’s News & Research Service.
2019 – After 120 years of publication, Best’s Insurance Reports transitioned to exclusively online delivery.
2019 – Introduced Best’s Financial Reports as part of the Best’s Insurance Reports subscription (now available individually online).
2020 – Designed and implemented a global pandemic stress test on all rated companies; revised global outlooks; and published the comprehensive Best’s Special Report “Stress Testing Rated Companies for COVID-19,” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 – The Global Coronavirus Pandemic Best’s Review and other AM Best news and research publications provided in-depth coverage of this unprecedented catastrophe and its impact on the insurance industry.
2020 – Introduced a new corporate logo that recognizes the company’s history by incorporating "Since 1899".
2020 – Released The AM Best Business Trilogy, a three-book series that explores how AM Best and its founder, Alfred M. Best, influenced the creation of the credit rating industry and its ongoing evolution.
*AM Best TV, Best’s Insurance Reports, Best’s Key Rating Guide, Best's Review, Best's State Rate Filings, BestESP, BestLink, and BestWeek are registered trademarks of A.M. Best Company, Inc.