Announcements

GCR affirms THI Insurance (Private) Limited’s rating at BBB-(ZW); Outlook Positive

Johannesburg, 12 Oct 2015 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to THI Insurance (Private) Limited at BBB-(ZW), with the outlook accorded as Positive. The rating is valid until September 2016.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit rating to THI Insurance (Private) Limited (“THI”) based on the following key criteria:

The Positive outlook is premised on expectations of the insurer’s profitability measuring in line with GCR’s view of medium term earnings capacity over the rating horizon, while successfully transitioning and bedding down operations, following the recent change in shareholding structure. The latter saw a management buyout of Tetrad Holdings Limited’s (“THL”) ownership of the company. The structure of the buyout saw all receivables from, and exposures to, THL, setoff against the purchase price. As a result, THI (which is now 100% owned by management) no longer has exposure to THL by way of either direct balance sheet exposure, or ownership interference risk. This has eliminated a previous rating constraint.

Rating support emanates from relatively strong levels of risk adjusted capitalisation, albeit with a reduction in the capital base to USD3.5m at 10M F15 (FYE14: USD5.2m), following the USD2.7m setoff (relating to impairment losses on loans and other investments), which resulted in an overall net loss. As such, the international solvency margin lowered to 116% (FYE14: 162%), albeit remaining strong. GCR expects solvency to remain within a strong range, trending above 100%, supported by utilisation of proportional reinsurance. The insurer’s moderately strong level of risk adjusted capitalisation provides financial tolerance for potential high severity hail claims, taking into account the large maximum net deductible of USD1.1m.

THI has recorded strong levels of profitability over the past two years, underpinned by low claims experiences in the tobacco hail portfolio, and further supported by some diversification into new general insurance books. The underwriting profits over the past two years (cumulatively amounting to approximately USD2.9m, compared to less than USD0.1m for the three prior years combined) have contributed materially to the insurer’s enhanced capital and liquidity positions. Nevertheless, the reduction in THI’s year to date profitability illustrates the inherently high level of profit volatility associated with hail insurance.

Enhanced profitability translated into very high cash flow generation over the past two years. Furthermore, the insurer’s relatively conservative investment philosophy supported strong liquidity, albeit a reduction in cash evidenced as at 10M F15 (given the settlement of liabilities due to THL) has lowered key liquidity metrics. Management plans to maintain a low risk investment approach going forward, in support of its expansionary medium term business plan. As at 10M F15, all liquid funds (USD1.6m) were held by institutions exhibiting strong financial profiles.

THI’s established niche position as the leading domestic tobacco hail insurer (with an approximate market share of between 55% and 65%) lends support to the rating. This has been underpinned by linkages with strong reinsurance counterparties, as well as long standing relationships with farmers and tobacco merchants.

Cognisance is taken of THI’s broadening business mix, which may serve to reduce concentration to agriculture insurance. The elevation of execution risk in this regard is noted, as the benefits of the strategy are likely to fully accrue over the medium to long term, once the non-hail book reaches critical mass.

The rating may be upgraded if the insurer evidences sustained operational stability, while maintaining through-the-cycle profitability within a strong range. This would need to be supported by liquidity rebounding to strong levels. Conversely, a downgrade may result from a deterioration in risk adjusted capital levels and/or liquidity metrics. Furthermore, a sustained weakening in earnings capacity, or a material loss in market share may result in negative ratings pressure.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY
 
Initial rating (August 2012)
Claims paying ability: BB+(ZW)
Outlook: Stable
 
Last rating (September 2014)
Claims paying: BBB-(ZW)
Outlook: Evolving

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst   Secondary Analyst
Yvonne Masiku   Fidelis Masheka
Senior Credit Analyst   Junior Credit Analyst
(011) 784-1771   (011) 784-1771
ymasiku@globalratings.net   fidelism@globalratings.net
     
Committee Chairperson    
Marc Chadwick    
Sector Head: Insurance Ratings    
(011) 784-1771    
chadwick@globalratings.net    

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Criteria for Rating Short Term Insurance Companies, updated July 2015

THI rating reports, 2012-2014

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.

THI Insurance (Private) 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 THI Insurance (Private) Limited with no contestation of the rating.

The information received from THI Insurance (Private) Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit rating included:

  • The audited financial statements to 30 September 2014
  • 4 years of comparative audited numbers
  • Unaudited interim results to 31 July 2015
  • Budgeted financial statements for 2015
  • 2015 reinsurance cover notes, and
  • 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.
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 more detailed glossary of terms/acronyms please click here

image_pdfPDF View

Leave a Reply



ALL GCR CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS, TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS, TERMS OF USE AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK:HTTP://GCRRATINGS.COM. IN ADDITION, RATING SCALES AND DEFINITIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON GCR’S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.GCRRATINGS.COM/RATING_INFORMATION. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA, AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. GCR's CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, COMPLIANCE, AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED AND RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS PUBLISHED BY GCR, ARE GCR’S OPINIONS, AS AT THE DATE OF ISSUE OR PUBLICATION THEREOF, OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. GCR DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL AND/OR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY BECOME DUE. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: FRAUD, MARKET LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND GCR’S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN GCR’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. CREDIT RATINGS AND GCR’S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND GCR’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER GCR’S CREDIT RATINGS, NOR ITS PUBLICATIONS, COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. GCR ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES GCR’S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING OR SALE.

Copyright 2019 GCR INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY GCR MAY NOT BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED OR DISCLOSED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT GCR’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT. Credit ratings are solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer of the instrument in respect of which the rating is issued, and GCR is compensated for the provision of these ratings. Information sources used to prepare the ratings are set out in each credit rating report and/or rating notification and include the following: parties involved in the ratings and public information. All information used to prepare the ratings is obtained by GCR from sources reasonably believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Although GCR will at all times use its best efforts and practices to ensure that the information it relies on is accurate at the time, GCR does not provide any warranty in respect of, nor is it otherwise responsible for, the accurateness of such information.GCR adopts all reasonable measures to ensure that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and that such information is obtained from sources that GCR, acting reasonably, considers to be reliable, including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, GCR cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process. Under no circumstances shall GCR have any liability to any person or entity for (a) any loss or damage suffered by such person or entity caused by, resulting from, or relating to, any error made by GCR, whether negligently (including gross negligence) or otherwise, or other circumstance or contingency outside the control of GCR or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication or delivery of any such information, or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential, compensatory or incidental damages whatsoever (including without limitation, lost profits) suffered by such person or entity, as a result of the use of or inability to use any such information. The ratings, financial reporting analysis, projections, and other observations, if any, constituting part of the information contained in each credit rating report and/or rating notification are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. Each user of the information contained in each credit rating report and/or rating notification must make its own study and evaluation of each security it may consider purchasing, holding or selling. NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY SUCH RATING OR OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY GCR IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.