OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of Guardian Life of the Caribbean Limited (GLOC) and Guardian General Insurance Limited (GGIL). Concurrently, AM Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” of Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL), a publicly traded holding company and the parent of GLOC and GGIL. GHL is listed on the Trinidad and Tobago stock exchange. All companies are domiciled in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings of GLOC and GGIL reflect their balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as their strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The ratings of GHL, GLOC and GGIL acknowledge GHL’s stable leverage position and consolidated balance sheet strength over the past several years. The consistent profitability of GLOC, which is GHL’s core life insurance subsidiary, enhances GHL’s overall balance sheet strength and debt servicing capabilities. Nevertheless, GHL’s exposure to the country risks associated with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago through its life and non-life operations, and the nascent but developing Trinidad and Tobago insurance regulations, remain areas of concern. Additionally, in 2019, NCB Financial Group Limited (NCB) and its wholly owned subsidiary, NCB Global Holdings Limited, acquired a majority of the outstanding shares in GHL. NCB’s exposure to credit risk associated with Jamaican sovereign debt may have negative potential indirect impacts on GHL’s balance sheet.
The ratings of GLOC acknowledge its strategic position within the GHL group, strong competitive position in the Trinidad and Tobago markets, consistently positive operating performance, the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), and diversified business profile. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are GLOC’s increasing insurance benefits and claims expenses, and the impact of continuing volatility in the local, regional and global markets.
The ratings of GGIL acknowledge its strategic position within the GHL group, its leading regional market presence and long-term favorable operating performance. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the highly competitive and challenging property/casualty market conditions throughout the Caribbean, the impact of continuing volatility in the local, regional and global markets, as well as GGIL’s exposure to catastrophe events and corresponding reliance on reinsurance to safeguard capital.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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