NOVEMBER 17, 2022 01:34 PM (EST)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Worldwide Medical Assurance, Ltd. Corp.
|Olga Rubo, FRM |
Senior Financial Analyst
+52 55 1102 2720, ext. 134
Associate Director, Analytics
+52 55 1102 2720, ext. 122
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5098
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEXICO CITY - NOVEMBER 17, 2022 01:34 PM (EST)
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Worldwide Medical Assurance, Ltd. Corp. (WWMA) (Panama City, Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect WWMA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
WWMA’s sustained balance sheet strength, underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalization maintained at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supports the rating affirmations in conjunction with AM Best’s expectations that profitability will continue to help increase the company’s capital base.
The ratings also reflect WWMA’s consistently strong operating performance, supported by sound underwriting practices and a conservative investment strategy, while maintaining its successful gradual expansion into other Latin American markets. These strengths are offset by the increased underwriting risk resulting from a change in the company’s retention profile, its ability to implement growth targets, and the highly competitive landscape in Latin America’s life and health insurance segments.
The company began operations in 1999 and has since grown successfully in its niche market, providing insurance for clients traveling overseas to receive medical attention. This is achieved through a mix of brokers, bancassurance and direct distribution channels. WWMA benefits from its partial ownership by KfW DEG, the German development bank, through its holding company, Worldwide Group, Inc. In recent years, WWMA has expanded operations into other Latin American markets such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, and most recently has moved toward starting operations in Colombia.
WWMA’s model of optimizing the selection of medical care providers is backed up by a reinsurance program placed with highly rated counterparties, supporting its strategy of global expansion and further development of its book of business. In April 2020, an adjustment was made to the reinsurance structure of the health business line, moving toward higher retention. AM Best will continue monitoring the effect of this change on the company’s operating performance metrics and risk-adjusted capitalization.
Historically, WWMA has maintained positive capital-creation capacity, which, along with a conservative strategy of reinvesting profits, has contributed to its strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by BCAR. Capital management is strengthened further by a capital contribution of USD 5 million, made with the purpose to support the shift in the asset structure after the integration of an intangible asset corresponding to contracts for a medical providers network from the sister company, WW Concierge Healthcare Services, Ltd. (WCHS).
WWMA’s strong underwriting and stringent expense practices translate into consistent premium sufficiency metrics. Moreover, WWMA’s synergies with its sister company in the Dominican Republic, in conjunction with periodic adjustments to its reinsurance structure, have helped optimize the company´s underwriting. These measures, combined with stable financial products, have resulted in sustained profitability indicators, such as return on equity and return on assets, which stood at 7.5% and 2.3%, respectively, at year-end 2021.
As of June 2022, the company posted USD 630,000 in net income, showing an increase in the loss ratio with respect to past operating performance results, and continuing the trend in WWMA’s increased business retention.
Positive rating actions are not expected in the medium term. Negative rating actions could take place if significant changes in the company’s strategy cause a negative effect in its income-generating profile or if the risk-adjusted capitalization deteriorates to levels no longer consistent with the strongest assessment.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology (Version Nov. 13, 2020), which provides a comprehensive explanation of AM Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Key insurance criteria reports utilized:
View a general description of the policies and procedures used to determine credit ratings. For information on the meaning of ratings, structure, voting and the committee process for determining the ratings and monitoring activities, please refer to Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings.
This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on AM Best’s website. For additional 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.
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