Press Release - MARCH 06, 2019

AM Best Assigns Credit Ratings to Rosgosstrakh Insurance Company, OJSC

 Yevgine Asatryan
Senior Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0316

Catherine Thomas
Senior Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0281

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

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


LONDON - MARCH 06, 2019
AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B- (Fair) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb-” to Rosgosstrakh Insurance Company, OJSC (Rosgosstrakh) (Russia). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Rosgosstrakh’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as adequate, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).

Rosgosstrakh is one of the leading insurers in Russia, with a long-standing strong market position in personal lines that benefits from an extensive distribution network and a well-recognised brand. The insurer’s financial position deteriorated significantly over the period 2015-2017, primarily due to the weak performance of the compulsory motor third-party liability (CMTPL) segment, which accounted for a large proportion of its business. In addition, the company incurred a large investment loss in 2017, stemming from its affiliated holdings. However, in 2017, Rosgosstrakh received a capital injection of over USD 1.6 billion from its parent, Bank Otkritie, following the bank’s bail-out by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR). CBR is now Rosgosstrakh’s ultimate shareholder and controlling party. A new management team was put in place, which began to implement a turnaround strategy that involved cleaning up the balance sheet and pruning the underwriting portfolio, in preparation for strong growth in 2019 and subsequent years.

Rosgosstrakh’s balance sheet strength assessment takes into account its expansion plans for the period 2019-2021. Projected risk-adjusted capitalisation for year-end 2019 is at the strong level, as measured by the Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), and AM Best expects internal capital generation to support planned growth over the forecast period.

The balance sheet strength assessment also reflects the insurer’s conservative investment portfolio, which has improved significantly over the past two years in terms of credit quality, diversification and exposure to affiliated holdings. As of year-end 2018, Rosgosstrakh had eliminated its breach of regulatory asset diversification prescriptions. However, the credit quality of the investments remains weak by international standards, partly explained by the limited availability of high-quality securities in Russia. The insurer’s financial flexibility is considered adequate, supported by its association with the CBR.

Rosgosstrakh has a track record of poor technical performance, driven by losses in the CMTPL portfolio and demonstrated by a five-year weighted average combined ratio (2013-2017) of 116%. In 2018, the insurer expects to report a small technical profit, helped by an improvement in the CMTPL loss ratio. Over the medium term, AM Best expects underwriting profitability to improve from pre-2018 levels, although earnings will be constrained by the high level of expenses required to support the expansion strategy. A positive investment return is expected, reflective of the more conservative investment portfolio.

In 2018, the insurer significantly pruned its CMTPL portfolio, reducing its market share in the segment to approximately 10% (2016: 24%, 2015: 35%). Consequently, overall gross written premium for the year is expected to have fallen to approximately RUB 69 billion from RUB 85 billion in 2017. After contracting for three consecutive years, the insurer now plans material growth over the period 2019-2021, targeting a 14% non-life market share in 2021 (2018 estimated market share of 8%). In addition, there are plans to grow significantly in the life market, on the base of a newly acquired mid-tier life insurer.

Rosgosstrakh’s ERM is currently evolving, with new organisational structures and frameworks being developed in order to improve governance and risk culture.

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 Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry.

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