|Jose Berenguer, CFA|
Senior Financial Analyst
+31 20 308 5429
+31 20 308 5432
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5098
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AMSTERDAM - OCTOBER 06, 2022 11:27 AM (EDT)
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a-” (Excellent) of Stonefort Reinsurance S.A. (Stonefort Reinsurance) (formerly known as Builders Reinsurance S.A.) (Luxembourg) and Stonefort Insurance S.A. (Stonefort Insurance) (formerly known as Builders Direct S.A.) (Luxembourg), both subsidiaries of HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft (HOCHTIEF), a large Germany-based construction company that is majority owned by ACS, Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, S.A. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Stonefort Reinsurance’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
Stonefort Reinsurance’s balance sheet strength is supported by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects Stonefort Reinsurance’s risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain at the strongest level supported by low underwriting leverage. Offsetting factors in the balance sheet strength assessment include the company’s high level of retrocessions to a non-rated reinsurer and its significant investment allocation to bonds issued by its intermediate parent company, HOCHTIEF.
Stonefort Reinsurance has a track record of strong and stable operating performance, largely driven by robust underwriting results, as demonstrated by a five-year (2017-2021) weighted average combined ratio of 80.2%, as calculated by AM Best. Stonefort Reinsurance’s prospective performance is subject to volatility, mainly due to the company’s exposure to business associated with the cyclical U.S. construction market.
Stonefort Reinsurance’s business profile assessment of limited reflects the company’s geographically concentrated portfolio of casualty risks that emanate from HOCHTIEF’s construction operations in North America, through its subsidiary. Additionally, Stonefort Reinsurance reinsures open-market business, including business emanating from its sister company, Stonefort Insurance. Stonefort Reinsurance’s volume of business partly recovered in 2021, as demonstrated by gross written premium (GWP) growth of 25%, underpinned by a recovery in HOCHTIEF’s North American operations, following a significant contraction in GWP of 36% in 2020. Stonefort Reinsurance’s GWP is expected to continue to grow during the period 2022-2024.
Stonefort Insurance was created in 2013 and provides insurance cover to third-party entities, specialising in the insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as for discretionary mutual companies. Stonefort Insurance’s ratings reflect its strategic importance to Stonefort Reinsurance as a source of business growth and diversification, as well as explicit support from Stonefort Reinsurance in the form of reinsurance protection and capital contributions.
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.