Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 289

Posts Tagged ‘am best’

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Arab Reinsurance Company S.A.L.

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 dicembre 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” of Arab Reinsurance Company S.A.L. (Arab Re) (Lebanon). The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remain negative.The ratings reflect Arab Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The negative outlooks reflect ongoing pressure on the business profile assessment, stemming from AM Best’s concerns over Arab Re’s ability to navigate the challenging underwriting conditions prevailing in its core markets. In addition, the increased social, political and economic instability in Lebanon, where the company is domiciled and writes approximately 10% of its business, have heightened the pressure on the ratings.Arab Re’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is maintained at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), reflective of low underwriting leverage. The company’s shareholder equity reached USD 104.6 million at year-end 2018, up 1.7% from USD 102.9 million at the end of 2017. The capital base is sufficient to absorb the elevated investment risk arising from exposure to Lebanese assets, notably Lebanon sovereign debt and cash deposits in local banks, and credit risk stemming from unrated retrocessionaires. In response to the heightened economic and political risk in Lebanon, Arab Re has decreased its exposure to domestic securities and increased its proportion of assets held outside Lebanon, notably by redirecting its cash flows to Bahrain and Oman.Arab Re has a track record of marginal operating profitability, with a five-year (2014-2018) weighted average return-on-equity of 4% and return on premium of 8.3%. Whilst operating profit remains supported by good investment returns, the company has experienced weak technical performance in recent years, with ongoing difficult underwriting conditions resulting in a five-year weighted average combined ratio of 107.2%. Net income increased marginally to USD 5.5 million in 2018, due to a slight improvement in technical results and investment income. AM Best expects the cancellation of loss making accounts to improve technical results in the longer term; however, combined ratios are likely to remain above 100% in the short to medium term. Arab Re has a niche position in its core markets in the Middle East and North Africa region, built upon its original role as a reinsurer for the Arab insurance market and longstanding relationships with cedants. Gross written premium increased by approximately 6% to USD 67.9 million in 2018. However, AM Best expects Arab Re’s business profile to remain under pressure in the short to medium term, constrained by challenging market conditions and a lack of growth opportunities in core markets.

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AM Best Revises Outlooks to Positive for Pacífico Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros S.A.

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 dicembre 2019

AM Best has revised the outlooks to positive from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Pacífico Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros S.A. (PCS) (Lima, Perú). The ratings reflect PCS’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).The revision of the outlooks to positive reflects the gradual strengthening of PCS’ balance sheet after achieving capital efficiencies from the consolidation of its property/casualty (P/C) and life operations, as well as improving economic conditions in Peru. AM Best expects that the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization will remain supported by its appropriate ERM.The ratings of PCS also reflect the company’s strong market share in Peru’s insurance market, as well as its comprehensive and well-diversified reinsurance program. Limiting the ratings is Peru’s competitive landscape within the company’s key segments such as auto, health and life, which have a limited number of insurers when compared with more developed insurance markets. PCS is Peru’s second-largest insurer with a market share of 26.2%. As of October 2019, the company’s business portfolio was composed of 53% life and 47% non-life. Its ultimate parent is Peru’s largest financial holding company, Credicorp Ltd. [NYSE: BAP], which had USD 52.6 billion in assets as of December 2018. After two years of consolidating its life and property/casualty (P/C) business into PCS, the company has maintained its risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). PCS benefits from risk mitigation achieved through diversification and a robust and comprehensive reinsurance program with highly rated reinsurers.PCS has maintained adequate operating performance, with life-side investment products contributing to the result, while P/C products have performed significantly well with positive technical results despite a lower level of new car sales in the auto segment. Historically, the company has reported healthy growth rates despite diverse market events in recent years.Positive rating actions could take place if the company is able to maintain its risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, supported by consistent operating results and appropriate ERM.Negative rating actions could take place if the company’s underwriting results weaken due to relaxed underwriting standards or a more aggressive risk appetite that could erode capital to levels that no longer support the net required capital for the risks the company faces.

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AM Best Assigns Credit Ratings to Insurance House P.S.C.

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 7 dicembre 2019

AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” to Insurance House P.S.C. (IH) (United Arab Emirates). Outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings reflect IH’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).IH’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). In addition, the company has a panel of financially strong reinsurers and a good level of liquidity. In 2019, IH was the first company in the UAE to issue perpetual subordinated bonds, increasing its regulatory capital base by AED 15 million (approximately USD 4.1 million) to bring it in line with all local solvency requirements. Offsetting factors include the company’s small overall capital base and material exposure to higher risk asset classes.IH’s historical operating performance has been volatile due to material underwriting losses. However, following a change in senior management in 2016, IH embarked on strategic initiatives to stabilise its operations, adopting stricter underwriting controls and tighter claims management. Successful execution of these remedial measures has supported a reduction in the combined ratio over the past two years to 96.7% in 2018 (2016: 122.5%). As a result, overall earnings also have improved considerably, reaching AED 10.6 million in 2018. Additionally, the company’s investment portfolio continues to contribute positively to the overall profitability, producing an investment yield (including gains) of 2.5% in 2018. Results for the nine months to September 2019 demonstrate continued improvement in the company’s technical and overall profits.IH holds a modest share of the UAE non-life market, writing AED 210.8 million in gross written premiums in 2018. In line with peers operating in the UAE, the company writes predominantly motor and medical insurance business. AM Best expects IH to continue to grow in line with its ambitious business plan, although market conditions remain challenging given the high level of competition.AM Best views IH’s ERM as marginal. In recent months, the company has begun formalising its risk management framework, more closely aligning its controls and procedures to its risk profile. AM Best expects management to make meaningful enhancements to the ERM framework as it continues with its strategic transformation of the company.
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specialising in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit http://www.ambest.com.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of General de Salud, Compañía de Seguros, S.A.

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 6 novembre 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent), the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” and the Mexico National Scale Rating (NSR) of “aaa.MX”of General de Salud, Compañía de Seguros, S.A. (Gsalud) (Mexico City, Mexico). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings reflect Gsalud’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).Gsalud’s balance sheet strength is supported by risk-adjusted capitalization at a very strong level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), strong underwriting practices and a supportive reinsurance program. The ratings also recognize Gsalud’s affiliation and strategic importance to its ultimate parent, Peña Verde, S.A.B., the leading group in Mexico’s (re)insurance industry, which provides synergies and operating efficiencies. Offsetting these positive rating factors are Gsalud’s concentration in one business line that is within Mexico’s highly competitive health insurance market.Gsalud is a fully owned subsidiary of General de Seguros, S.A.B. (General de Seguros) and focused solely on health insurance. The company provides products mainly in the individual and collective health segments, as well as for major medical expenses. Gsalud has used the same distribution channels as General de Seguros, which involves agents, brokers and commercial offices.Gsalud’s very strong risk-adjusted capitalization is maintained despite its increased risk appetite, as reflected by a higher exposure to shares, which makes the company susceptible to equity risk, according to BCAR. Historically, the company’s strong underwriting practices have resulted in positive technical performance with no dependence on investment revenue to achieve positive bottom line. AM Best expects the company to maintain this trend. In 2018, underwriting practices coupled with investments results, sustained profitability as reflected in a 7.8% return on equity The company benefits from being integrated into the Peña Verde, S.A.B. group, gaining operational advantage through common systems, procedures and ERM practices. AM Best expects underwriting results to further reinforce the company’s operating performance, and thus capitalization levels. Factors that may trigger positive rating actions include a continued generation of underwriting earnings that strengthen risk-adjusted capitalization levels. The company’s current ratings could come under pressure should a lack of underwriting discipline result in overall profitability falling short of AM Best’s expectations, or if capitalization is no longer supportive of the current ratings.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Singapore Reinsurance Corporation Limited

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 ottobre 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Singapore Reinsurance Corporation Limited (Singapore Re) (Singapore). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Singapore Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).Singapore Re’s balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalization that remains at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Despite an elevated dividend payout ratio over the past five years, retained earnings have remained sufficient to support new business growth over this period. Other balance sheet factors include the company’s moderate risk investment strategy, and high usage of and dependence on retrocession to manage exposure to catastrophe events, accumulations and large single risks.AM Best views Singapore Re’s operating performance to be adequate, with the company having reported a five-year average return on equity ratio of 4.9% (2014-2018). Underwriting performance has exhibited a level of volatility and increased pressure over recent years driven by continued competitive conditions and increased natural catastrophe activity, with a five-year average combined ratio of 101.1% (2014-2018). The company’s overall earnings remain supported by investment operations, with a five-year average net investment return (including gains/losses) of 3.3%.
AM Best views Singapore Re’s business profile as neutral. The company is a regional non-life reinsurer based in Singapore, with a modest-sized gross written premium base of SGD 208 million (USD 193 million) in 2018. The company remains somewhat reliant on its long-standing relationships with a select number of local cedants, including some shareholders of Singapore Re, which has enabled preferential access to profitable business over a number of years. AM Best views that any deterioration in these relationships over time would likely place pressure on the company’s business profile assessment. AM Best views the company’s ERM approach as appropriate given the current size and complexity of its operations. The company identifies and measures key risks on a frequent basis and manages these risks in conjunction with its Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) framework. A partially offsetting factor remains the company’s high level of cedant concentration, largely reflecting the volume of business that emanates from a small number of local cedants with which Singapore Re has long-standing relationships.

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AM Best Assigns Credit Ratings to National Insurance Company

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 20 ottobre 2019

AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B- (Fair) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb-” to National Insurance Company (NIC) (Jordan). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is positive.The ratings reflect NIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as adequate, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.The positive outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that NIC’s risk-adjusted capitalisation will improve from 2019 onward, benefiting from internal capital generation. In addition, AM Best views positively recent actions taken by the company’s management to improve the reserving adequacy of its motor book and reduce its asset risk exposure.The company’s balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by very strong risk-adjusted capitalisation in 2018, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which is expected to return to the strongest level. Whilst the company’s asset base is exposed heavily to the high financial system risk in Jordan, its investment portfolio is weighted toward liquid asset classes such as bank deposits and fixed-income securities. In the medium term, the company plans further divestment of some of its real estate holdings, which in 2018, accounted for approximately 12% of its capital base. Offsetting factors in AM Best’s balance sheet strength assessment include the company’s small capital base and moderate dependence on reinsurance for large risks.NIC has generated positive operating earnings over recent years, with the five-year (2014-2018) weighted average combined ratio of 94.3% and return on equity of 8.8%. However, its underwriting results deteriorated markedly in 2018, due to the weak performance of its motor and medical segments, which contributed to the company reporting a combined ratio of 110.3% and a net operating loss of JD 0.9 million. NIC’s management has taken steps to reverse this trend by pruning its underwriting portfolio and strengthening its reserves, which AM Best expects to support technical profits going forward. At half-year 2019, the company reported improved performance with profit after tax of JD 0.4 million and a combined ratio of approximately 98%.AM Best’s assessment of NIC’s business profile as limited reflects its relatively small size and concentration to Jordan’s intensely competitive insurance market, where it maintains a 3.6% market share (based on total market premiums in 2018). NIC’s risk management framework is developing, and AM Best views its risk management capability to be marginal relative to its risk profile.

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AM Best’s 2019 London Briefing to Focus on Shifting EMEA Insurance Market

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 ottobre 2019

AM Best will host its annual Insurance Market Briefing – Europe and Methodology Review Seminar on Tuesday, 12 November 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (GMT) at etc.venues St. Paul’s in London.
John Neal, chief executive officer of Lloyd’s, will deliver the keynote presentation. This year’s market briefing also will offer thematic sessions on London Market distribution amid shifting trends, such as the growth of managing general agents and further broker consolidation. Insurers’ investment strategies will also be examined, with a discussion on what effect the trend of increased allocations to illiquid assets could have on insurers and their credit ratings. Catrin Shi, acting managing editor, The Insurance Insider, will moderate a panel discussion with AM Best and industry expert participants on the pace of insurance and reinsurance industry innovation and the effectiveness of companies in adapting to the rapid technological change. An update on AM Best’s draft innovation criteria procedure, “Scoring and Assessing Innovation,” will be presented as well.The annual afternoon seminar will review benchmarking analysis of EMEA insurers and look at what AM Best expects in terms of future methodology updates, highlighting how the rating agency is addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in the credit rating process, and how that might evolve.

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AM Best To Host Annual Middle East Regional Insurance Market Briefings in Muscat and Dubai

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 3 ottobre 2019

AM Best will host two Insurance Market Briefings for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the first event to be held at the Sheraton Oman Hotel on Wednesday, 2 October 2019, in Muscat, Oman. A second market briefing will follow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, 7 October 2019, at the Hotel Address Dubai Mall. The briefings will be led by Nick Charteris-Black, managing director, market development—EMEA, and Greg Carter, managing director, analytics—EMEA & AP. Asad Irshad, principal and consulting actuary, Milliman, is to be the guest presenter at the event in Muscat, while Christos Adamantiadis, chief executive officer, Marsh Middle East and Africa, will deliver the guest presentation in Dubai. Each event will conclude with a networking lunch for attendees to connect with AM Best and other industry professionals.
AM Best publishes ratings on thousands of insurers and reinsurers in more than 90 countries worldwide, including ratings on a number of regional insurers and reinsurers across the MENA insurance markets. More information about Best’s Credit Ratings, AM Best’s rating methodology and the rating process can be found at http://www.ambest.com/ratings.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Members of GEICO

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 17 settembre 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aaa” for the members of Government Employees Group (GEICO) (Chevy Chase, MD). The ratings of GEICO reflect the group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).The ratings also reflect GEICO’s robust capitalization, consistent track record of operating profitability, brand name recognition and pre-eminent national market position in the personal automobile insurance segment. GEICO’s solid operating results reflect a considerable underwriting expense advantage, driven by its direct distribution business model. In addition, the group continues to produce generally favorable loss experience while benefiting from a steady stream of investment income, and capital gains in its investment portfolio given the favorable performance of equity markets in most years. As a result, GEICO’s substantial capital growth over the most recent five-year period has comfortably supported the steady growth in premiums.
These positive rating factors are offset partially by GEICO’s high investment leverage derived from its significant allocation of invested assets to unaffiliated equities, which could lead to fluctuations in its risk-adjusted capitalization due to market swings or potential stock market downturns. In addition, GEICO maintains a modest geographic concentration that exposes it to legislative changes and judicial decisions, as its top five states account for slightly more than half of its direct premiums written. However, this risk is mitigated largely by GEICO’s geographic spread throughout the United States and management’s proven ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. The ratings also reflect GEICO Marine’s supportive risk-adjusted capitalization, historical ocean marine specialty niche expertise and the explicit support provided by NICO, in the form of significant quota share reinsurance coverage, and for which GEICO Marine receives rating enhancement. Additionally, the ratings recognize the implicit commitment provided by Berkshire.

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AM Best América Latina Executives to Attend 2019 FIDES Conference in Bolivia

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 settembre 2019

Carlos De la Torre, senior director, business development and operations, and Midori Honda, market development director, both of AM Best América Latina, will attend the 37th Hemispheric Insurance Conference of the Inter-American Federation of Insurance Companies (FIDES), which will take place Sept. 8-11, 2019, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
The conference and exhibition, which will be held at the Los Tajibos Hotel and Convention Center, is the regional event for the Latin American (re)insurance industry and is hosted this year by the Bolivian Association of Insurers. The event program will examine new technologies that are disrupting the insurance industry, as well as look at how innovation can help companies keep up with the rapidly changing pace of technology. The conference also serves as a networking opportunity for insurers, brokers and reinsurers as they prepare their reinsurance renewal strategies.AM Best will host a suite at the event, and recently released a Best’s Market Segment Report on Bolivia’s insurance market, in which it assigned the market a stable market segment outlook due to its healthy growth, its insurers’ robust solvency ratios and a sufficient appetite from reinsurers. To access the full copy of the report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=289016. Other Latin America market outlooks can be found on AM Best’s Latin America center.To schedule a meeting with De la Torre or Honda to discuss the commercial aspects of and the process for initiating a Best’s Credit Rating, please email midori.honda@ambest.com, or stop by suite No. 15 during the conference. More information about the FIDES conference can be found at the event website.

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AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of AIA New Zealand Limited

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 settembre 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “aa-” of AIA New Zealand Limited (AIA New Zealand) (New Zealand), formerly known as Sovereign Assurance Company Limited. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn these ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in AM Best’s interactive rating process.The ratings reflect AIA New Zealand’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. In addition, AIA New Zealand benefits from rating enhancement from its ultimate parent; AIA Group Limited (AIA or the AIA group).
AIA New Zealand’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalization, which AM Best expects to remain at the strongest level over the medium term, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). In addition, the company’s local regulatory solvency position in New Zealand is expected to be maintained at an appropriate level, supported by AIA’s capital management strategy and AM Best’s expectation that financial support from the parent will be forthcoming, if required. A partially offsetting balance sheet factor is the company’s increased reinsurance utilization. Since being acquired by the AIA group in 2018, AIA New Zealand has ceded a notable portion of its existing in-force protection portfolio to a third-party reinsurer.The company has a track record of strong operating performance, with a five-year average return-on-equity ratio of 15% (fiscal years 2014 to 2018). AM Best continues to view AIA New Zealand’s business profile as favorable. The company remains the largest life insurer in New Zealand, with its market share (new and in-force business) exceeding 25%. AIA New Zealand also benefits from a 20-year strategic bancassurance partnership that is in place between AIA New Zealand, AIA International Limited (New Zealand Branch) and ASB Bank Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.AIA New Zealand’s ratings incorporate rating enhancement from AIA, one of the world’s largest life insurance groups. AIA New Zealand is ultimately wholly owned by AIA, and while the subsidiary accounts for a small component of the group’s overall revenues and earnings, it is considered important to the group in terms of accessing the New Zealand life insurance market and its strategic priority of developing long-term bancassurance partnerships.

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AM Best Places Credit Ratings of The Guarantee Company of North America

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 agosto 2019

AM Best has placed under review with positive implications the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a” of The Guarantee Company of North America (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and its subsidiary, The Guarantee Company of North America USA (Southfield, MI), collectively referred to as the Guarantee Companies. These companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Princeton Holdings Limited.
The Credit Rating (rating) actions follow the announcement that Intact Financial Corporation (Intact) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Guarantee Companies from Princeton Holdings Limited. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals in the United States and Canada, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.The under review with positive implications status reflects the need for AM Best to further and fully assess the financial and operational impacts of the acquisition. In addition, the positive implications considers the successful track record that Intact has established with similar transactions in the past, and the benefits of operational synergies with Intact and its subsidiary companies. AM Best will continue to hold discussions with Intact and Guarantee Companies’ management and monitor the Guarantee Companies’ balance sheet strength, operating performance, business profile and enterprise risk management through the close of the transaction.

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AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Westminster American Insurance Company

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 agosto 2019

AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a-” from “a” of Westminster American Insurance Company (Westminster) (Owings Mills, MD). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.The ratings reflect Westminster’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).The rating downgrades reflect the significant level of adverse loss reserve development Westminster has reported recently, which has led to a steady decline in the company’s operating performance. The adverse reserve development added 12.3 and 6.9 points, respectively, to the 2017 and 2018 combined ratios. In response, management has taken aggressive actions through a comprehensive claims audit, which has resulted in additional case reserve strengthening, specifically on liability claims, through second-quarter 2019. Going forward, the company has implemented a much more conservative approach when establishing initial loss reserves for all liability claims, which should lessen adverse reserve development. As a result, AM Best anticipates that future operating performance will remain strong as the company continues to grow and expand, but the company will not achieve past levels of performance.The stable outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that Westminster will maintain its strong balance sheet strength and operating performance, and that the recent corrective measures taken by management will meaningfully improve the company’s overall ERM effectiveness. Westminster’s overall risk-adjusted capitalization remains supportive of its strong balance sheet strength assessment, and the company continues to maintain a conservative investment portfolio. Although recent adverse reserve development has dampened Westminster’s underwriting profitability, the company has continued to achieve underwriting and pre-tax operating profits, as well as surplus growth.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of New York Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 27 luglio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aaa” of New York Life Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (collectively referred to as New York Life). Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IRs) on the funding agreement-backed securities (FABS) programs, the outstanding notes issued thereunder and the Long-Term IRs on the existing surplus notes of New York Life Insurance Company. The outlook of the Credit Ratings (rating) is stable. All companies are headquartered in New York, NY. (See below for a detailed listing of the Long- and Short-Term IRs.) The ratings reflect New York Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its very strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and very strong overall enterprise risk management.The ratings also reflect New York Life’s risk-adjusted capitalization, which has been sustained at the very strong level, with consistently growing absolute levels of capital, ample financial flexibility and abundant liquidity, even under extreme stress scenarios. Currently, the company’s reserve profile still remains slightly weighted toward annuity products, which are exposed to the continued low interest rate environment. However, this reserve profile is driven partially by the reserving dynamics between life insurance and annuity products, which generate higher reserves for the annuity products in the earlier years. While AM Best believes that New York Life’s investment management capabilities remain strong, the potential still exists for higher-than-normal credit losses, albeit manageable, within New York Life’s general account investment portfolio. The organization’s investment portfolio is considered well-diversified with allocations that follow a consistent, long-term approach, as well as a material allocation to highly rated corporate fixed-income securities. AM Best notes that New York Life has a sizeable allocation to non-traditional assets, namely investments in private equity and hedge funds that together represent approximately 21% of total capital.New York Life’s current adjusted GAAP financial leverage, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income, together with secured and non-recourse debt, continues to be well within AM Best’s guidelines for the company’s current ratings. In addition, GAAP interest coverage is very strong. AM Best also holds a favorable view of New York Life’s proactive management approach to interest-rate risk through ongoing hedging, product design, dynamic asset rebalancing and disciplined sales. Finally, AM Best notes that New York Life has an added measure of financial flexibility in support of its very strong risk-adjusted capital position through the management of its policyholder dividend scale.The consistent and very strong operating performance is attributed to sales growth generated from its traditional ordinary life insurance business, providing long-term cash flows as the foundation. The majority of new annuity sales include market-value adjustment features that reduce interest-rate risk; however, some vulnerability to spread compression exists should the low interest rate environment persist. Overall earnings are derived from diverse sources and have increased primarily because of favorable mortality experience with overall positive business growth. New York Life’s investment operations provide further earnings diversification, reflective of the organization’s strong spread revenue and asset-based fees that are generated from the $572 billion of assets under management as of year-end 2018.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Lloyd’s

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Lloyd’s (United Kingdom), Lloyd’s Insurance Company (China) Limited (Lloyd’s China) (China) and Lloyd’s Insurance Company S.A. (Lloyd’s Brussels) (Belgium). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” of Society of Lloyd’s (the Society) (United Kingdom) and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings of “a-” on the GBP 500 million 4.750% subordinated loan notes maturing 30 October 2024 and on the GBP 300 million 4.875% subordinated notes maturing 7 February 2047. The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.The ratings reflect Lloyd’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.The Lloyd’s market benefits from its risk-adjusted capitalisation being at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Capital adequacy is supported by a robust risk-based approach to setting member-level capital and a strong Central Fund, which is available to meet the policyholder obligations of all Lloyd’s members. AM Best’s assessment of the balance sheet strength of Lloyd’s takes into account the fungibility constraints of capital held at the member level and the market’s good financial flexibility, which is enhanced by the diversity of its capital providers.
The favourable business profile assessment reflects the strong position of Lloyd’s in its core markets, as a leading writer of reinsurance and specialty property and casualty insurance. Lloyd’s has an excellent brand in these markets but an increasingly difficult operating environment poses challenges to Lloyd’s competitive position. The market’s business mix is well-diversified but with some geographical bias toward North America and product bias towards moderate to high-risk commercial specialty lines products.
The ratings of Lloyd’s China and Lloyd’s Brussels reflect reinsurance support from Lloyd’s in the form of quota share contracts between Lloyd’s and the syndicates participating on the China and Brussels platforms.The rating of the Society is notched from the rating of the Lloyd’s market, reflecting the unique relationship between the Society and the Lloyd’s market, which means that the ability of the Society to meet its obligations is inextricably linked to the ability of Lloyd’s to meet its obligations.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings for La Colonial, S.A. Compañía de Seguros

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 27 giugno 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of La Colonial, S.A. Compañía de Seguros (La Colonial) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains positive.The ratings reflect La Colonial’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.The positive outlooks recognize the improvements made by La Colonial in terms of operating performance and acknowledge the skills of the underwriting team to face the potential challenges of harsher competition during 2019. The ratings also reflect the company’s robust risk-adjusted capitalization, supported by a strong reinsurance program. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the competitive environment in the Dominican Republic.La Colonial is the fifth-largest insurance company in the Dominican Republic, with a 7.3% market share as of April 2019, maintaining a leading position in the Dominican Republic despite changing market dynamics, including the continuous inflow of new health premiums to the system from new competitors. The company has posted adequate profitability and growth to support its results. The company operates as a multiline insurer, and its portfolio is composed of 80% property/casualty, 16% accidents and health and 4% life, based on gross written premium.In 2018, the company continued its improved combined ratio to levels below 100% because of higher retention and a continuation of expense efficiency. A key year for the resolution of the positive outlooks is 2019, as the company needs to consolidate the improvements achieved in terms of operating performance amidst increased competition in key segments like auto and fire. In this regard, AM Best considers La Colonial’s management team to be well-prepared to manage such competition and to maintain a cost-efficient operation.
La Colonial’s risk-adjusted capitalization remains strong and is supported adequately by a comprehensive reinsurance program that mitigates the potential impact from regional natural disasters on the company’s results. These characteristics are well-reflected in its solvency and capitalization metrics, and its excellent market position. Looking forward, AM Best expects the company to continue performing with premium sufficiency driven by lower technical costs in the medium term, to achieve higher ratings.Positive rating actions could occur if La Colonial continues to improve its underwriting performance, by achieving greater efficiency and consolidating its positive trend in operating performance, while at the same time, strengthening its capital base through increased profitability. Factors that might lead to negative rating actions include deterioration of its technical income, by either higher operational costs or a decline in the underwriting quality that places more emphasis on financial income to sustain profitability. Any major changes in La Colonial’s capital base, including significant dividends or capital outflows, that diminish AM Best’s view of the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization also could result in negative rating actions.

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AM Best Financial Analyst to Address Reinsurance Buyers Conference

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 giugno 2019

AM Best will participate in the 2019 Reinsurance Buyers Conference, an event hosted by the American Agricultural Insurance Company, which is taking place June 23-25, 2019, at the Omni Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL.AM Best Financial Analyst Angelo Lozano will address how AM Best assesses the business profiles of farm bureau insurers. His presentation will take place on Monday, June 24, at 10:15 a.m. (EDT). The two-day event also will focus on current issues critical to reinsurance buyers in this area and sheds light on the shifting market and regulatory landscape, in addition to evolving risks.Lozano oversees a portfolio of property/casualty insurers for AM Best, and holds the Associate of Reinsurance designation and the CFA charter.AM Best is a trusted source of insurance market insight and data, and the only global credit rating agency with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Best’s Credit Ratings are a recognized indicator of insurer financial strength and creditworthiness. Visit http://www.ambest.com for more information.

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AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of Lloyd’s Syndicate 510

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 16 giugno 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of Lloyd’s Syndicate 510 (Syndicate 510) (United Kingdom), which is managed by Tokio Marine Kiln Syndicates Limited (TMKS). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn the ratings as the syndicate has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.The Lloyd’s market rating is the floor for all syndicate ratings, reflecting the Lloyd’s chain of security and, in particular, the role of the Central Fund, which partially mutualises capital at the market level. The ratings of Syndicate 510 reflect the balance sheet strength of the Lloyd’s market, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as the market’s strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.For the 2019 year of account, the syndicate’s capacity was maintained at GBP 1.1billion. Approximately 56% of Syndicate 510’s capital is provided by Tokio Marine Underwriting Limited, the ultimate parent of which is Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. The remainder of the capital is provided by third party Lloyd’s members.The syndicate’s recent technical performance has been broadly in line with the overall Lloyd’s market, demonstrated by a five-year weighted average combined ratio of 98% (2014-2018). In 2018, Syndicate 510 recorded a combined ratio of 103%, affected by catastrophe losses in North America. The impact from catastrophe losses was in line with AM Best’s expectations given the size and frequency of catastrophe events during the year.
The business profile of all syndicates is linked inextricably to that of Lloyd’s, which has a strong position in the global general insurance and reinsurance markets. The collective size of the Lloyd’s market allows Syndicate 510 to compete under the Lloyd’s brand with international groups. Syndicate 510 is one of the largest syndicates at Lloyd’s, ranking seventh based on 2018 gross written premiums. It writes a diversified portfolio by geography and line of business comprising property and special lines, marine and special risks, enterprise risk, accident and health, reinsurance and aviation.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Berkley International Fianzas Mexico S.A.

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 12 maggio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior), the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “aa-” and the Mexico National Scale Rating of “aaa.MX” of Berkley International Fianzas Mexico S.A. (BFM) (Mexico City, Mexico). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.BFM is a member of W. R. Berkley Insurance Group (Berkley Group), which on a consolidated basis, has a balance sheet strength that AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as strong operating performance, a favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).The ratings reflect BFM’s substantial reinsurance support from its group through the Berkley Insurance Company. Additionally, the ratings factor in BFM’s integration with its parent company, W. R. Berkley Corporation (W. R. Berkley), in terms of underwriting, ERM and capital commitments. Limiting the ratings is the inherent risk of a startup company implementing its business plan and the potential for volatility in Mexico’s economy during 2019.BFM was formed in November 2016, and is the Mexico surety subsidiary of W. R. Berkley. The company received regulatory approval for operations in June 2017 and issued its first policy that same month. The company plans to develop a regional presence in northwest Mexico, through a predominant mix of administrative surety, and a lesser portion of credit and judicial products strongly backed by a comprehensive reinsurance contract with its parent company.BFM’s solid risk-adjusted capitalization is derived from its strong capital position in support of its premium growth during its first years of operation, which is strengthened further by the comprehensive reinsurance contract with its parent company. Furthermore, AM Best recognizes W. R. Berkley’s commitment to its subsidiaries providing additional capital fungibility to the Mexico operation.As a recently formed company, BFM will have to produce sufficient volume to compensate for its fixed costs, while posting adequate underwriting performance on its retained premium. While the BFM management and underwriting team have a successful track record, the business plan implementation has to evolve for AM Best to evaluate the company’s operating performance adequately.While the company has an experienced team of underwriters, achieving an adequate premium volume might prove more challenging than anticipated. This is due to uncertainty with regard to the new federal government’s spending on infrastructure, which could diminish and impact surety sector growth in the coming years and potentially limit the company’s growth prospects.If positive rating actions are taken on the main operating subsidiaries of the Berkley Group for substantial and sustained improvement in operating performance results relative to their peers, BFM’s ratings likely would move in tandem. Conversely, if negative rating actions are taken on the Berkley Group as a result of a sustained deterioration in the group’s underwriting or operating results, BFM’s ratings would mirror those same actions. Negative rating action also could be driven by accident year results or adverse development of prior years’ loss reserves at the parent level, or result from a change in the financial position of the group’s holding company that prompts the withdrawal of capital from the group or causes an increase in financial leverage or decline in interest coverage at the holding company that is not supportive of the current ratings.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 maggio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” of National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines (Nat Re) (Philippines). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative. The ratings reflect Nat Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.Nat Re’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which is expected to remain at the strongest level over the medium term. Capital adequacy is supported by the company’s low underwriting leverage. However, this is offset by Nat Re’s sizable holding of local equity investments, with fair value movements having driven a level of volatility in capital and surplus over recent years. The company is expected, however, to reduce its exposure to this higher risk asset class during 2019, and increase its allocation toward cash, deposits and fixed income instruments. During the past five years, Nat Re’s overall earnings have remained positive, driven by a steady stream of investment income, which has helped offset unfavorable technical results. Since 2013, Nat Re has undertaken a series of portfolio remediation exercises aimed at improving underwriting profitability and reducing volatility. In particular, the company has reduced its exposure to underperforming property lines of business and increased its business allocation to life reinsurance, which is currently profitable. While the company’s combined ratio has improved over recent years, it remained loss making in 2018. The negative outlooks for Nat Re’s ratings reflect the continued pressure and volatility that AM Best expects underwriting performance to place on overall earnings over the near term.
Nat Re is the only domestic reinsurer in the Philippines, and benefits from strong relationships with local cedants and access to business through mandatory local cessions. In addition, the company underwrites a sizable portfolio of overseas business, which aids with geographic and line-of-business diversification. Offsetting business profile factors include the company’s moderate cedant concentration, and the ongoing challenging market conditions and competition from larger international reinsurers.

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