A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Hyundai Marine & Fire Company, Ltd.

HONG KONG--()--A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a” of Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Company, Ltd. (HMFI) (South Korea). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect HMFI’s adequate risk-adjusted capitalization and highly conservative investment profile.

HMFI’s risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), declined in fiscal-year 2013 (nine months from March 2013 to December 2013), but remains at a supportive level for the current ratings. The company’s capital and surplus dropped in fiscal-year 2013 due to decline in unrealized gains in bond investments, a result of higher market interest rates.

With a conservative investment strategy, HMFI mainly invests in fixed income assets and maintains a small exposure to equity securities. The company’s investment portfolio has historically generated stable income and contributed to its operating results.

Following two years of deterioration in auto underwriting results, HMFI reported an improvement in its auto loss ratio to 84.2% in the first four months of fiscal-year 2014, compared with 86.9% in fiscal year 2013. The company also recorded a favorable increase in auto premium income during the four-month period, mainly due to an increase in auto renewal rates.

Offsetting rating factors are a worsening risk-loss ratio for HMFI’s long-term lines and volatile operating performance at its two major wholly owned subsidiaries, Hyundai Hicardirect Auto Insurance Co., Ltd., and Hyundai Insurance (China) Co., Ltd. (China), which continue to report operating losses. HMFI’s long- term risk loss ratio worsened in fiscal-year 2013 due to increased claims in medical indemnity products.

While HMFI is well positioned at its current rating level, negative rating actions could occur if HFMI’s underwriting performance in long-term lines deteriorates substantially and causes a material deterioration of its risk-adjusted capitalization.

The methodology used in determining these interactive 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. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication, and unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.

This rating announcement has been issued by A.M. Best Asia-Pacific Limited, which is a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company. A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best Company
Irene Chan, +852-2827-3423
Associate Financial Analyst
irene.chan@ambest.com
or
Seewon Oh, +852-2827-3404
Senior Financial Analyst
seewon.oh@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +(1) 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

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Contacts

A.M. Best Company
Irene Chan, +852-2827-3423
Associate Financial Analyst
irene.chan@ambest.com
or
Seewon Oh, +852-2827-3404
Senior Financial Analyst
seewon.oh@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +(1) 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com