AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of RF&G Insurance Company Limited

·4-min read

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb" 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 categorizes 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. RF&G’s business portfolio as of year-end 2019 was composed of fire (53%), 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; 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 2019 to be adequate, with improving loss ratios due to successful adjustments in underwriting and low impact catastrophe events in comparison with previous years. The company also experienced better performance as of September 2020, as claims frequency and costs were limited by COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and the corporate book of business drove growth. The impact of hurricanes has been limited and AM Best will continue to monitor the company’s results in this regard.

RF&G has been able to navigate the current crisis successfully due to its underwriting discipline, experienced management team and competitive position in the market; however, macroeconomic factors in Belize continue to be a key concern there, including access to USD in the financial system and the credit quality of eligible investments to cover insurance obligations. Despite that, the company’s business profile is considered neutral as management has proactively worked with financial authorities, regulators and business partners, including reinsurers to face any potential adversities resulting from the current economic conditions.

Positive rating actions are not expected in the medium term due to Belize’s challenging economic environment. Negative rating actions could take place if the company presents lower risk-adjusted capitalization driven by volatility in its net results or from capital outflows.

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.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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