AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Polskie Towarzystwo Reasekuracji S.A. (Polish Re) (Poland).
The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Polish Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The ratings also reflect the lift Polish Re receives due to the support provided by its ultimate parent, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax), in particular the explicit parental guarantee in place for Polish Re. In addition, Fairfax provides technical support in areas such as reserving, retrocession protection and investment management services.
The revision of the outlooks to stable from negative reflects AM Best’s expectation of Polish Re’s risk-adjusted capitalisation improving to the very strong level at year-end 2023 and being maintained comfortably at this level prospectively, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The projected improvement in 2023 factors a planned USD 18 million capital injection from Fairfax, due to occur before year end. Previously, Polish Re has seen a trend of deteriorating risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by BCAR, driven by increased underwriting risk due to significant premium growth. Whilst prospective capital adequacy remains exposed to potential volatility from outsized growth levels and, to a lesser extent, operating performance, financial support from Fairfax is expected to be forthcoming in addressing future capital needs.
Polish Re has experienced volatility historically in reserve development, stemming largely from motor third-party liability business in Poland and requiring reserve strengthening in recent years, which negatively impacts the company’s balance sheet assessment and operating performance. The company benefits from a conservative and liquid investment portfolio.
Polish Re’s adequate operating performance track record is demonstrated by a five-year (2018-2022) average combined ratio of 98.4% (as calculated by AM Best) and a five-year (2018-2022) average return-on-equity ratio of 2.8% (as calculated by AM Best). The company reported a net loss of PLN 5.7 million (USD -1.3 million) in 2022, driven mainly by realised investment losses. This compares with a net profit of PLN 16.2 million in 2021 (USD 4.0 million). Prospectively, investment income is expected to contribute increasingly to operating profitability due to rising interest rates, following the company’s asset shift.
Polish Re benefits from a diversified underwriting portfolio, with operations spanning approximately 40 markets. The company’s largest markets based on gross written premium in 2022 are Poland, Israel and India. Additionally, the company has expanded its agriculture line of business significantly in recent years.
AM Best considers Polish Re’s ERM to be developed and appropriate for the company’s risk profile and operational scope.
This latest rating action is the result of an accepted appeal from Polish Re.
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