OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bb” of Gulf Insurance Limited (Gulf) (Trinidad and Tobago). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains negative.
The rating actions reflect Gulf’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The rating actions also reflect A.M. Best’s concerns surrounding the continuing political, economic and financial challenges faced by Gulf’s parent, Assuria N.V. (Assuria), in its domicile of Suriname, and the potential adverse impact on Gulf and its balance sheet as a result of any weakening of Assuria’s financial position.
Gulf maintains strong capitalization and benefits from being domiciled in Trinidad and Tobago, and the regulatory safeguards provided by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. The strong balance sheet strength is derived from very strong risk-adjusted capitalization, which is offset partially by the potential negative impact as a result of any weakening of Assuria’s financial condition. Gulf is a long-standing insurer in its domestic market, having operated in this market for over 30 years and has achieved a high level of brand recognition.
Gulf’s business profile is considered limited due to its significant concentration of property and motor risks in Trinidad and Tobago. This market is highly competitive, and losses from natural catastrophe events represent a material level of risk exposure to Gulf. This is mitigated through the significant use of reinsurance. Gulf’s underwriting and overall results have improved in recent years, despite the financial impacts of catastrophe losses.
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