NOVEMBER 10, 2022 09:30 AM (EST)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of ICM Assurance Ltd
|Adrienne Stark |
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5526
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5394
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5098
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDWICK - NOVEMBER 10, 2022 09:30 AM (EST)
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a” (Excellent) of ICM Assurance Ltd (ICMA) (St. Michael, Barbados). ICMA is a single-parent captive insurer, wholly owned by CNOOC International Limited, which is in turn wholly owned by CNOOC Limited (CNOOC), the ultimate parent. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect ICMA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile, appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM), all of which are bolstered by rating enhancement that it receives from its ultimate parent, CNOOC.
ICMA’s balance sheet strength is supported by its risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), as well as its strong liquidity, low underwriting leverage and consistent reserving practices. Due to the nature of the insurance ICMA provides for CNOOC’s oil and gas exploration, it is subject to high severity losses. However, this exposure is tempered by the extensive loss control and group-wide safety programs across the enterprise. Reinsurance protection, placed with a panel of financially strong reinsurers, limits ICMA’s net exposure to shock losses. Also noteworthy is the significant percentage of assets that ICMA loans its parent. The loan is repayable on demand. It carries negligible counterparty risk due to the affiliation and aligned interests of the two companies.
ICMA has reported adequate operating results, with net operating profits recorded over each of the past five years. The captive’s loss experience has remained favorable due to the lack of material catastrophe events and management’s inherent knowledge of the business written. The neutral business profile assessment considers ICMA’s role as a single-parent captive providing global liability and property coverages to its ultimate parent and affiliates. ICMA maintains an ERM structure that is appropriate for a company of its size. As a captive of CNOOC, ICMA benefits from its integral role in the parent’s ERM framework.
ICMA’s ratings receive lift from the ultimate parent due to implicit and explicit support, as well as other inherent benefits the captive receives from CNOOC. ICMA is considered a core element of CNOOC’s overall risk management and risk mitigation program and serves a critical role in delivering direct coverage and access to reinsurance for specific property, control of well, general liability and other risks of its parent, subsidiaries and affiliates.
AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive .
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.