MEXICO CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bbb-” of Acerta Compañia de Seguros, S.A. (Acerta) (Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Acerta’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).
The ratings also recognize Acerta’s affiliation to Grupo Prival, S.A., its ultimate parent, following management´s decision to reduce pressure in the regulatory capital requirement of its main financial institution, Prival Bank S.A., through major shareholder ownership of its insurance operation.
Acerta initiated operations in Panama City in 2010, and in 2017, the company acquired ADISA Panama. At year-end 2020, the company stood as Panama’s 11th largest insurer, with a market share of more than 1.5%. Its main insurance lines of business are surety, motor and health, in terms of gross written premiums. Acerta operates through a network of agents, brokers and direct distribution channels.
The company’s capital and surplus has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 30.4% over the past five years, ultimately supported by profitability, as reflected by a return on equity of 10% in 2020. Acerta’s capitalization is reinforced by a diversified reinsurance program with highly rated entities. Moreover, its capitalization and liquidity have provided the company with flexibility in order to cover historical deviations in claims.
Acerta’s continuous claims-containment adjustments within its motor and health insurance lines, coupled with synergies derived from the ADISA Panama acquisition, which continue to leverage its surety business, and reduced claims frequency derived from the pandemic environment, continue to reflect improvements in underwriting performance, as reflected by a combined ratio below 100% at year-end 2020. AM Best expects Acerta to sustain this trend through year-end 2021, despite challenges arising from a very competitive market as well as prevailing uncertainty stemming from COVID-19.
AM Best expects a thorough and improved implementation of Acerta’s ERM framework in order to mitigate emerging risks that may erode the company’s balance sheet strength, operating performance or business profile.
Positive changes in the ratings or outlooks could take place if the company sustains improvements in its operating performance, coupled with a thorough implementation of its ERM framework. Negative rating actions could occur if inconsistencies within its ERM profile affects the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization or business profile.
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