Best’s News & Research Service - December 01, 2023 02:41 PM (EST)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Seguros e Inversiones, S.A.
- December 01, 2023 02:41 PM (EST)
Mexico City //BestWire// - AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” (Good) of Seguros e Inversiones, S.A. (SISA) (El Salvador). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect SISA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The ratings also reflect SISA’s strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supported by consistent profitability, a diversified business profile and its market-leading position, as well as its appropriate reinsurance program. The company’s affiliation with Inversiones Financieras Grupo Imperia Cuscatlan S.A. (IFGIC) provides synergy and operating efficiencies. Offsetting these positive rating factors is El Salvador’s current macroeconomic conditions, which may temper SISA’s asset allocation strategy within non-investment grade fixed income.
SISA initiated operations in 1962. At year-end 2022, the company was El Salvador’s market leader with 27% of gross premiums written covering domestic exposures. Life insurance products comprise 61% of SISA’s business portfolio, with the balance being property/casualty products (28%) and health (11%). Historically, SISA’s distribution channels have been positioned mainly with brokers, pension funds, bancassurance and the government. In 2020-21, IFGIC led the acquisition of Seguros SISA SV, S.A. (Seguros SISA SV) in order to support SISA’s growing domestic and regional expansion.
SISA’s risk-adjusted capitalization is supportive of its ratings, and its capital base was further strengthened further by the Seguros SISA SV acquisition. Additionally, SISA’s balance sheet strength assessment is supported by a comprehensive reinsurance program placed with reinsurers that have excellent security. AM Best’s opinion on the company’s very strong balance sheet strength assessment remains pressured by the country’s macro fundamentals, given the company’s exposure to non-investment grade securities, which could ease as El Salvador sustains signs of improvements within the short to mid-term.
The company reported a combined ratio above 100% for 2021, driven by the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic claims on its life business book, as well as increased frequency on its auto business resulting from economy improving. However, SISA historically has shown disciplined underwriting, consistently reporting overall premium sufficiency levels that compare positively with its competitors, as reflected in an improved combined ratio of 96.4%, as of year-end 2022.
Key factors that could lead to positive rating actions for SISA include enhancements to the company’s very strong balance sheet strength assessment resulting from sustained improvements in El Salvador’s macroeconomic conditions. Conversely, a sharp deterioration in operating performance and further pressure on the company’s balance sheet strength driven by El Salvador´s macroeconomic conditions could lead to negative rating actions.
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:
- Available Capital & Holding Company Analysis (Version Oct. 13, 2017)
- Catastrophe Analysis in AM Best Ratings (Version March 10, 2023)
- Evaluating Country Risk (Version May 4, 2023)
- Scoring and Assessing Innovation (Feb. 27, 2023)
- Understanding Global BCAR (Version July 6, 2023)
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, relevant sources of information and the frequency for updating ratings, please refer to Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings.
- Previous Rating Date: Nov. 4, 2022
- Initial Rating Date: Oct. 15, 2021
- Date Range of Financial Data Used: Dec. 31, 2017-Sep. 30, 2023
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