OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” (Excellent) of Guardian Life of the Caribbean Limited (GLOC) and Guardian General Insurance Limited (GGIL). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” (Good) 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 of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative.
The ratings of GLOC and GGIL reflect their balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses 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 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. GHL’s parent, NCB Financial Group Limited (NCB) and its wholly owned subsidiary, NCB Global Holdings Limited, owns a majority of the outstanding shares in GHL. NCB’s exposure to credit risk associated with Jamaica’s sovereign debt may have a negative potential indirect impact on GHL’s balance sheet strength.
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.
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 challenging property/casualty market conditions throughout the Caribbean, GGIL’s exposure to catastrophe events and its corresponding reliance on reinsurance to safeguard capital.
The negative outlooks reflect AM Best’s concern regarding global economic conditions and their negative impact on territories in the Caribbean. Regional territories in the Caribbean are impacted materially by tourism and energy factors, which are being affected in the short term by global conditions. The driver of the negative outlooks is centered in AM Best’s concern that these conditions could result in volatility in the operating performance and balance sheet metrics of these insurers in the short to intermediate term. AM Best will continue to monitor the conditions in the Caribbean region and take appropriate rating actions as conditions change.
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 Guide to 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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