LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a-” of The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association (WoE or the Club) (Luxembourg). The outlook for both ratings remains stable.
The ratings reflect WoE’s strong risk-adjusted capitalisation and the continued improvement in technical performance. Additionally, the Club has a good niche business profile, which benefits from its membership of the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (International Group).
WoE’s risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain at a strong level throughout 2016, supported by a conservative growth strategy and solid earnings retention. WoE’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its prudent reserving strategy and modest investment risk profile – areas of its business that in the past have represented sources of volatility to the Club’s risk-adjusted capitalisation.
For the policy year ending February 2015, WoE reported a combined ratio of 97.4%, compared with 100.8% for the same period in 2014. The sustained improvement in the Club’s technical performance is the result of several measures implemented by management to de-risk WoE’s insurance portfolio and strengthen its reserving approach. Overall earnings remained positive, owing to a stable income stream derived from its investment portfolio of predominantly cash and fixed-income securities. As a result, WoE’s free reserves increased to USD 244 million in February 2015, from USD 216 million reported in the previous year.
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009, the following is a link to required disclosures: A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited Supplementary Disclosure.
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