Best’s News & Research Service - June 18, 2021 08:22 AM (EDT)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Solen Versicherungen AG and Noble Assurance Company
- June 18, 2021 08:22 AM (EDT)
London //BestWire// - AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” (Excellent) of Solen Versicherungen AG (SVAG) (Switzerland) and Noble Assurance Company (Noble) (Texas, U.S.A.). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect SVAG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. In addition, the ratings factor in rating enhancement from SVAG’s ultimate parent, Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), reflecting SVAG’s importance to the group as a well-entrenched risk management tool. Shell provides support to SVAG in the form of a contingent capital facility that would allow SVAG to replenish its capital position quickly if needed.
SVAG’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which remained at the strongest level at year-end 2020, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Risk-adjusted capitalisation could be materially impacted by one or more significant losses due to the large gross and net line sizes the captive offers. However, AM Best would expect SVAG to replenish capital buffers promptly following such losses, either through internal capital generation or by drawing on its contingent capital facility. The balance sheet strength assessment also takes into consideration the company’s significant, albeit decreasing, concentration of assets in intra-group deposits at year-end 2020.
SVAG has a track record of strong operating performance, largely driven by robust underwriting results, as demonstrated by a five-year (2016-2020) weighted average combined ratio of 19.8%. Prospective performance is subject to potential volatility from exposure to high severity, low frequency losses, reflecting the type of business underwritten. SVAG does not currently purchase outward reinsurance cover for the majority of its risks. The expected transfer of some of the Shell group’s foreign currency warehousing activities into SVAG in 2021 is likely to introduce additional volatility going forward. Nonetheless, SVAG’s key performance metrics are expected to remain supportive of a strong assessment.
SVAG’s business profile assessment reflects its key role in its ultimate parent’s overall risk management framework, as Shell’s principal captive. The captive’s non-life business largely consists of offshore and onshore property and liability risks, as well as the associated business interruption cover. SVAG also writes a small book of life business emanating from the group’s pension liabilities.
The ratings of Noble reflect its status as a member of the SVAG rating unit and a subsidiary of Shell. As a captive domiciled in Texas, Noble underwrites Shell’s U.S. business and cedes 100% of its risks to SVAG, its sister company, through a quota share reinsurance agreement.
AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated 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 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 credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising 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.