AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to "aa-" from "a+" of Chubb Seguros Panamá S.A. (Chubb Panamá) (Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect Chubb Panamá's balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The rating upgrades reflect Chubb Panamá's balance sheet strength improvement to strongest from very strong, supported by risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR).
The ratings also reflect Chubb Panamá's sound underwriting practices, which support its consistent operating performance, diversified business profile and solid reinsurance program placed with Chubb Tempest Reinsurance Ltd., as well as the company’s affiliation to its ultimate parent, Chubb Limited, one of the world’s largest insurance groups. This affiliation provides Chubb Panamá with synergies and operating efficiencies. Offsetting these positive rating factors are Chubb Panamá's modest, but growing market share within Panama’s insurance industry relative to the lines of business it writes, and the strong competitive environment in Panama’s insurance sector; however, the company partially mitigates this through a diversified business portfolio spread across other geographies in Central America.
Chubb Panamá initiated operations in 2008 as ACE Seguros S.A., and continued with that brand name until 2016 when its name was changed to Chubb Seguros Panamá S.A. The company writes mainly non-life and reinsurance business, covering exposures throughout Panama and Central America. In 2019, property stood as the company´s main business line with 31.8% of gross written premium. Chubb Panamá's main distribution channels are positioned with brokers and cedent companies. Chubb Panamá has shown disciplined underwriting in a highly competitive market, consistently reporting overall premium sufficiency levels that compare positively with its competitors. In 2019, Chubb Panamá achieved a combined ratio of approximately 74.8%.
The Panama subsidiary’s strong underwriting results have sustained sound overall profitability, as reflected in a return on equity of 16.9%, and contributed to expanding the company’s capital base at a 28% compound annual growth rate in 2019. AM Best expects Chubb Panamá's risk-based capitalization to remain supported by the group´s conservative capital management guidelines.
Moreover, the company benefits from being integrated into the group, gaining operational leverage through the same systems, procedures and ERM practices. The group historically has demonstrated its support to Chubb Panamá through capital injections to fund growth opportunities.
Key factors that could lead to positive rating actions for Chubb Panamá include continued favorable trends in profitability while maintaining capital growth supported by good underwriting practices. Conversely, a sharp deterioration in operating performance or a significant weakening of its risk-adjusted capitalization could lead to negative rating actions. Additionally, if AM Best determines that Chubb Panamá's strategic importance has diminished, the ratings also could be downgraded.
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.
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