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-” (Good) of Acerta Compañia de Seguros, S.A. (Acerta) (Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is positive.
The ratings reflect Acerta’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).
The positive outlook on the FSR and Long-Term ICR is based on Acerta´s consistent adjustments in underwriting practices that positively influence its operating performance, while expanding its capital base. Additionally, consistent stability of its ultimate parent, Grupo Prival, S.A’s, performance could positively contribute to rating assessments.
The ratings also recognize Acerta’s affiliation to 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. As of January 2023, the company stood as Panama’s 12th largest insurer, with a market share of 1.5%. Its main insurance lines of business are surety, motor and health, which are based on 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 6.0% over the last five years, supported by profitability, as reflected by a return on equity of 5.8% in 2022. 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, multiple risks and health insurance lines, coupled with its expertise in the surety business, continue to reflect improvements in underwriting performance, as reflected by a combined ratio below 100% at year-end 2022. AM Best expects Acerta to sustain this trend through year-end 2023 supported by renovation of current contracts and an improved performance in its property/casualty business, despite challenges arising from a very competitive market and economic uncertainty.
AM Best also expects improvements in 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 could take place if the company sustains improvements in its operating performance, coupled with a thorough implementation of its ERM framework. Additionally, positive rating actions could take place if the ultimate parent´s ability and willingness to support the company continue while showing a consistent stability in its performance. Negative rating actions could occur if inconsistencies within its ERM profile, evolving market conditions or strategic opportunities affect the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization or business profile.
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