Johannesburg, 11 August 2015 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to The Heritage Insurance Company Kenya Limited of A+(KE); with the outlook accorded as Positive. The rating is valid until June 2016.
SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE
Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit rating to The Heritage Insurance Company Kenya Limited (“Heritage”) based on the following key criteria:
Heritage reflects strong capitalisation, representing a core component of the rating. The insurer’s international solvency margin rose to a review period high of 99% in FY14, on the back of sustained retained profits. The solvency margin is expected to be diluted to 75% in FY15, as Heritage’s growth strategy centers on increasing premium retention rates on key portfolios, albeit remaining rating adequate.
The insurer’s liquidity metrics have displayed a consistent upward trend over the review period, measuring at very strong levels in FY14. In this regard, the claims cash coverage ratio registered at a robust 42 months, and cash to technical liabilities was recorded at a very healthy 1.4x. Going forward, GCR expects liquidity metrics to be sustained at sound levels.
Heritage has demonstrated the ability to consistently post robust surpluses over the review period which represents a key input into the insurer’s rating. The underwriting margin was recorded at a strong 9% in FY14, which was in line with the 4 year average. GCR expects profit strength to persist going forward. Earnings capacity is supported by healthy product diversification, with four classes each contributing in excess of 10% of the net premium base.
The rating is supported by Heritage’s entrenched presence in the domestic market. This is supported by Liberty Life Kenya Holdings Limited (“LKHL”) which has a 100% shareholding and provides operational support to the insurer on an ongoing basis. The rating is further supported by the high quality of counterparties on the reinsurance program, as well as the net retentions per risk and event which are contained at low levels relative to capital.
The insurer has a sizeable investment portfolio (more than 170% of shareholder’s funds). In addition, the insurer has consistently reduced exposure to market risk with the percentage of market related investments relative to capital being recorded at a low 11% in FY14 (versus 75% at the start of the review period). The bulk of the remainder of the investment portfolio comprises of a loan book (21% of FY14 capital), which is expected to decrease going forward as operational and restructuring plans take effect.
Upward movement of the rating could develop from increased market penetration of the local industry coupled with sustained earnings capacity and the attainment of solvency and liquidity metrics in line with expectations. Downward rating pressure could arise from a decline in key solvency metrics below historic averages, and/or the reversion to a more risky investment stance, compromising key liquidity metrics. Further, a marked weakening in underwriting profitability over a sustained period could give rise to a rating downgrade.
|NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY|
|Initial rating (October 2000)|
|Claims paying ability: A+(KE)|
|Last rating (June 2014)|
|Claims paying ability: A+(KE)|
|Primary Analyst||Secondary Analyst|
|Marc Chadwick||Catherine Zimba|
|Sector Head: Insurance Ratings||Junior Credit Analyst|
|(011) 784-1771||(011) 784-1771|
|Senior Credit Analyst|
APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH
Criteria for Rating Short Term Insurance Companies, updated July 2015
The Heritage Insurance Company Limited rating reports, 2000-2014
RATING LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS
ALL GCR’S CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/UNDERSTANDING-RATINGS. IN ADDITION, GCR’S RATING SCALES AND DEFINITIONS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/RATINGS-INFO. GCR’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, PUBLICATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET.
SALIENT FEATURES OF ACCORDED RATINGS
GCR affirms that a.) no part of the rating was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the rating was based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; c.) such rating was an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.
The Heritage Insurance Company Limited participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings, teleconferences and other written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible.
The credit rating has been disclosed to The Heritage Insurance Company Limited with no contestation of the rating.
The information received from The Heritage Insurance Company Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit rating included:
- The 2014 audited annual financial statements
- 4 years of comparative audited numbers
- Unaudited interim results as per 30 April 2015
- Budgeted financial statements for 2015
- Other related documents.
The rating above was solicited by, or on behalf of, the rated client, and therefore, GCR has been compensated for the provision of the rating.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS/ACRONYMS USED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS PER GCR’S INSURANCE GLOSSARY
|Assets||The items on the balance sheet of the insurer which show the book value of property owned. Under regulations, not all property or other resources may be admitted in the statement of the insurer. This gives rise to the term ‘non-admitted assets.’|
|Balance Sheet||An accounting term which refers to a listing of the assets, liabilities, and surplus of a company or individual as of a specific date.|
|Capacity||The largest amount of insurance or reinsurance available from a company. In a broader sense, it can refer to the largest amount of insurance or reinsurance available in the marketplace.|
|Claim||A request for payment of a loss, which may come under the terms of an insurance contract.|
|Commission||A certain percentage of premiums produced that is received or paid out as compensation by an insurer to agents and brokers.|
|Insurer||The party to the insurance contract whom promises to pay losses or benefits. Also, any corporation engaged primarily in the business of furnishing insurance to the public.|
|Interest||Money paid for the use of money.|
|Liquidity||The ability of an insurer to convert its assets into cash to pay claims if necessary.|
|Loss Ratio||The ratio of claims to premiums. It may be calculated in several different ways, using paid premiums or earned premiums, and using paid claims with or without changes in claim reserves and with or without changes in active life reserves.|
|Policy||The legal document issued by the company to the policyholder, which outlines the conditions and terms of the insurance also called the policy contract or the contract.|
|Premium||The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.|
|Reinsurance||The practice whereby one party, called the Reinsurer, in consideration of a premium paid to him agrees to indemnify another party, called the Reinsured, for part or all of the liability assumed by the latter party under a policy or policies of insurance, which it has issued. The reinsured may be referred to as the Original or Primary Insurer, or Direct Writing Company, or the Ceding Company.|
|Reserve||An amount representing actual or potential liabilities kept by an insurer to cover debts to policyholders.|
|Retention||The net amount of risk the ceding company keeps for its own account|
|Risk||Uncertainty as to the outcome of an event when two or more possibilities exist.|
|Solvency||With regard to insurers, having sufficient assets (capital, surplus, reserves) and being able to satisfy financial requirements (investments, annual reports, examinations) to be eligible to transact insurance business and meet liabilities.|
|Statutory||Required by or having to do with law or statute.|
|Underwriting||The process of selecting risks and classifying them according to their degrees of insurability so that the appropriate rates may be assigned. The process also includes rejection of those risks that do not qualify.|
For a detailed glossary of terms utilised in this announcement, please click here