Press Release - FEBRUARY 09, 2018

A.M. Best Comments on Credit Ratings of QBE Insurance Group Limited Following Market Update on Expected 2017 Result

 Jalpa Thanky, FIA
Senior Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0277

Mathilde Jakobsen
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0266

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


A.M. Best has commented that the Credit Ratings (ratings) of QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) (Australia) and its main insurance subsidiaries remain unchanged following QBE’s market update on 23 January 2018 that it has revised its full-year 2017 results expectations to a post-tax loss of approximately USD 1.2 billion. A higher-than-expected combined ratio of approximately 104% and the write-off of goodwill and deferred tax assets contributed to the revised forecast. The expected post-tax loss means that year-end 2017 risk-adjusted capitalisation will be lower than previously anticipated by A.M. Best. However, the group’s year-end 2017 coverage of the regulatory prescribed capital amount is expected to be around 1.6x, which is within its target range.

The QBE board will consider the quantum of the group’s final dividend and share buy-back expectations in conjunction with the finalisation of the year-end 2017 result on 26 February 2018. At that time, A.M. Best will assess the impact of any announced capital management actions on prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation.

On 13 July 2017, A.M. Best upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited (United Kingdom), QBE Re (Europe) Limited (United Kingdom) and the pooled members of QBE North America Insurance Group. These companies are key operating subsidiaries of QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) (Australia), the non-operating holding company of the QBE group of companies. At the same time, A.M. Best affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of QBE Seguros, QBE’s Puerto Rico subsidiary and a part of its Latin America operations. Additionally, A.M. Best upgraded the Long-Term ICR to “bbb+” from “bbb” of QBE. These ratings remain unchanged with a stable outlook.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. 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 A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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