OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings of “a-” of Afianzadora Insurgentes, S.A. de C.V. (AISA) and its affiliate, Afianzadora Aserta, S.A. de C.V. (Aserta). The outlook for all ratings is stable.
“Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”
The rating actions reflect AISA and Aserta’s excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, strong underwriting results and favorable historical investment income. The ratings also recognize both companies’ affiliation as members of the financial group, Grupo Financiero Aserta, S.A. de C.V. (Grupo Financiero Aserta). All companies are domiciled in Mexico.
These positive rating factors are derived from both companies’ clearly defined target markets, extensive distribution network, disciplined underwriting and credit risk management and strong servicing capabilities, which enables AISA and Aserta to leverage its broad-based expertise to develop and expand its leadership position in the surety marketplace.
Partially offsetting these rating strengths are the companies’ overall earnings volatility in recent years, somewhat elevated expense structure and potential limited financial flexibility as a result of their private ownership structure.
In 2011, AISA and Aserta continued strong underwriting and operating profitability, which it received in part from favorable overall earnings.
Factors that could lead to AISA and Aserta’s ratings being upgraded are the continuation of long-term, consistently strong operating profitability and the maintaining of excellent risk-adjusted capital levels. Factors that could lead to a negative outlook or rating downgrades include unfavorable operating profitability trends, outsized investment losses and a significant decline in the companies’ risk-adjusted capital that would not be supportive of its current rating level.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “Understanding Universal BCAR”; “Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings”; and “Alternative Risk Transfer (ART).” Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
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