Best’s News & Research Service - February 10, 2023 11:23 AM (EST)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited
- February 10, 2023 11:23 AM (EST)
Hong Kong //BestWire// - AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “aa-” (Superior) of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited (DL) (Japan), the wholly owned operating subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (DLH). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
DLH is the ultimate parent for the entire Dai-ichi organisation. AM Best views DL as being integral to the group, given its financial, operational and strategic importance to the overall organisation. Accordingly, DL’s ratings are based upon the balance sheet fundamentals and operating performance of the DLH organisation, which are then extended specifically to DL.
The ratings reflect DLH’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
DLH’s balance sheet strength assessment mainly reflects its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). This assessment also is supported by the group’s low financial leverage, although this is higher than that of some life insurers in Japan. In addition, the group continues to manage the durations of its assets and liabilities actively to control any potential asset-liability mismatch risk.
DLH’s operating performance remained strong and stable amid the COVID-19 pandemic during fiscal year 2021. Over the past five fiscal years, the group’s return on equity based on comprehensive income also remained strong with a five-year average of 10%. Most recently, the group was affected adversely by a new wave of COVID-19 infections in Japan, which led to a significant increase in benefits payments for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2023. Nevertheless, AM Best expects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to moderate significantly from October 2022, following the Japanese government’s updated guidelines in late September. Over the long term, the group’s stable in-force book of its domestic insurance business and a growing overseas insurance business should continue to support its profitability in a sustainable manner.
DLH remains one of the largest life insurance groups in Japan. In its domestic market, the group has diversified its distribution channels by developing different brands (i.e. Dai-ichi Life, The Dai-ichi Frontier Life Insurance Co., Ltd. and The Neo First Life Insurance Company, Limited) to meet different customer needs. The group also has sought geographic diversification by expanding its overseas insurance business, which contributed 28% of the group’s adjusted net profit in fiscal year 2021.
The stable outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that DLH will maintain its overall balance sheet strength, supported by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by BCAR. Ongoing strategic initiatives implemented by management and its stable in-force business also are expected to support a consistent and strong operating performance over the intermediate term.
Negative rating actions could occur if there is a material deterioration in the group’s risk-adjusted capitalisation caused by factors such as substantial investment losses. Negative rating actions also could occur if there is a material and prolonged deterioration in operating performance caused by a substantial decline in its fundamental profit or in-force book of business.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.
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 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.