OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and 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 & Tobago).
These Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Gulf’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The rating actions are mainly due to diminished liquidity pressure at the ultimate parent, Assuria N.V. (Assuria) (Suriname) and the potential adverse impact on Gulf and its balance sheet.
The strong level of balance sheet strength is derived from very strong risk-adjusted capitalization, adequate liquidity and loss reserves, and supported by generally positive earnings. However, the assessment of the balance sheet is limited by the company’s small size. In addition, Gulf is highly dependent upon quality third party reinsurers to protect shareholder equity from catastrophic loss.
Gulf’s business profile is considered limited due to its significant concentration of property and motor risks in its domestic Trinidad and Tobago market. This market is considered to be very mature and highly competitive providing the company with limited opportunities for organic growth. Gulf is a long-standing insurer, having operated in this market for over 30 years and has achieved a high level of brand recognition. As such, its risk management capabilities are deemed to be appropriate, although a formal ERM program continues to evolve.
While concerns remain, the stable outlooks reflect Gulf’s ability to maintain its balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile under current market conditions, as well as positive developments in Suriname and favorable actions being taken by Assuria to reduce its economic and financial risk.
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