MEXICO CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” (Good) of RF&G Insurance Company Limited (RF&G) (Belize). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect RF&G’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
RF&G is the leading property/casualty insurer in Belize, with over a 50% market share of this segment. The company is wholly owned by its holding company, G.A. Roe & Sons Limited (ROE), which operates as a finance, management and investment company. RF&G was established in Belize in 1964, when the insurance operation was called Horncastle (British Honduras) Ltd. In 2005, ROE acquired Regent Insurance and merged the operations, resulting in a 2008 name change to RF&G Insurance Company Limited. RF&G’s business portfolio, as of year-end 2020, was composed of fire (66%), motor (22%), casualty (15%) and the remaining a mix of marine, aviation, bonds and title.
AM Best considers RF&G’s balance sheet to be very strong; presenting considerable growth in reported surplus from the profitability of its operations. In addition, risk-adjusted capitalization reflects the company’s conservative risk appetite supported by an adequately set reinsurance program. Nevertheless, the volume of its capital, gross exposure to catastrophe risk and reinsurance dependence limits AM Best’s view of the company’s balance sheet strength. Additionally, AM Best considers RF&G’s ERM practices as appropriate given its comprehensive and appropriate risk framework, and the low complexity of its operations.
AM Best considers the company’s operating performance, as of December 2020, to be adequate, reflecting that claims frequency and costs were limited by COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and the growth in the corporate book of business. In 2021, RF&G has focus in its underwriting quality amid a gradual recovery in economic activity and in claims experience.
Macroeconomic factors in Belize continue to be a key concern there, including access to U.S. dollars in the financial system and the credit quality of eligible investments to cover insurance obligations. Despite this, AM Best considers RF&G’s business profile as neutral, as management has worked proactively with financial authorities, regulators and business partners, including reinsurers to face any potential adversities resulting from the current economic conditions.
Negative rating actions could take place if the risk-adjusted capitalization decreases due to volatility in its net results or from capital outflows. Negative rating actions also could occur if Belize’s macroeconomic environment pressures the financial flexibility of the company.
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