Johannesburg, 18 October 2019 – GCR Ratings (“GCR”) has revised Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited’s (“Alliance”) national scale financial strength (formerly claims ability) rating to A+(TZ), Stable Outlook, from AA-(TZ), Stable Outlook.
|Rated Entity / Issue||Rating class||Rating scale||Rating||Outlook/Watch|
|Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited||Financial strength||National||A+(TZ)||Stable Outlook|
GCR announced that it had released new criteria for rating insurance companies in May 2019. Consequently, the rating for Alliance was placed ‘Under Criteria Observation’. GCR finalised the review for Alliance under the released Criteria for Rating Insurance Companies, May 2019. As a result, the rating for Alliance has been revised in line with the new methodology and subsequently removed from ‘Under Criteria Observation’.
Alliance’s national scale financial strength rating reflects the credit strengths and weaknesses of the insurer and its subsidiaries (“the group”). Alliance is the core operating entity of the group, contributing 84% and 85% of the group’s revenue and total assets in FY18 respectively. Given Alliance’s dominance in the context of the group’s financial performance and position, the financial and business profiles of the group largely mirror that of Alliance. In this respect, the financial profile is viewed to be a credit positive, supported by strong risk adjusted capitalisation, sound liquidity and healthy earnings. The business profile is considered neutral, supported by a moderately strong competitive position, diluted by slightly weak premium diversification.
The insurer has evidenced robust capitalisation over the review period. However, note should be taken of moderation in risk adjusted capitalisation, impacted by a reduction in the capital base and an increase in insurance and market risk. This has countered the effects of the cash and carry regulations which has reduced credit risk pressures that historically burdened the insurer’s capitalisation assessment. Earnings capacity is viewed to be healthy, buoyed by moderately strong underwriting profitability and robust investment returns. In this respect, the five year underwriting margin equated to 7% (FY18: 11%; FY17: 4%), while the five year operating margin registered at 20% (FY18: 25%; FY17: 26%). Alliance has a sound liquidity profile, as evidenced by stressed financial asset coverage of net technical liabilities measuring at 1.6x (FY17: 1.4x), while operational cash coverage registered at 20 months at FY18 (FY17: 16 months).
The insurer displays moderately strong competitive positioning, supported by its top tier position in the domestic short term insurance market. Despite the shift in competitive dynamics, following a regulatory directive to move all government business to the National Insurance Corporation, GCR expects the insurer to continue to defend its current competitive position over the outlook horizon, underpinned by its solid franchise value and established corporate relationships.
The stable outlook reflects expectations of continued strength in risk adjusted capitalisation, and liquidity, while factoring potential for the business profile to remain at similar levels over the outlook horizon.
Positive rating action may stem from a sustainable improvement in earnings while all other credit protection metrics remain within strong to very strong ranges. Conversely, the rating may be downgraded should the insurer evidence a reduction in risk adjusted capital adequacy, a weakening in earnings capacity and/or liquidity metrics.
|Primary analyst||Sylvia Mhlanga||Credit Analyst|
|Johannesburg, ZA||SylviaM@GCRratings.com||+27 11 784 1771|
|Secondary analyst||Godfrey Chingono||Deputy Sector Head: Insurance Ratings|
|Johannesburg, ZA||GodfreyC@GCRratings.com||+27 11 784 1771|
|Committee chair||Yvonne Mujuru||Sector Head: Insurance Ratings|
|Johannesburg, ZA||YMujuru@GCRratings.com||+27 11 784 1771|
Related Criteria and Research
|Criteria for the GCR Ratings Framework, May 2019|
|Criteria for Rating Insurance Companies, May 2019|
|GCR Ratings Scales, Symbols & Definitions, May 2019|
|GCR Country Risk Scores, June 2019|
|GCR Insurance Sector Risk Scores, July 2019|
|Alliance previous rating reviews, 2006-2018|
Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited
|Rating class||Review||Rating scale||Rating class||Outlook||Date|
|Claims paying ability||Initial||National||A+(TZ)||Stable||December 2006|
Risk Score Summary
|Country risk score||4.00|
|Sector risk score||3.25|
|Management and governance||0.00|
|Accident||An unplanned event, unexpected and undesigned, which occurs suddenly and at a definite place.|
|Assets||A resource with economic value that a company owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.|
|Balance Sheet||Also known as a Statement of Financial Position. A statement of a company’s assets and liabilities provided for the benefit of shareholders and regulators. It gives a snapshot at a specific point in time of the assets the company holds and how they have been financed.|
|Budget||Financial plan that serves as an estimate of future cost, revenues or both.|
|Capacity||The largest amount of insurance available from a company. In a broader sense, it can refer to the largest amount of insurance available in the marketplace.|
|Capital||The sum of money that is invested to generate proceeds.|
|Capitalisation||The provision of capital for a company, or the conversion of income or assets into capital.|
|Capital Adequacy||A measure of the adequacy of an entity’s capital resources in relation to its risks.|
|Cash||Funds that can be readily spent or used to meet current obligations.|
|Catastrophe||An event, which causes a loss of extraordinary magnitude.|
|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.|
|Diversification||Spreading risk by constructing a portfolio that contains different investments, whose returns are relatively uncorrelated. The term also refers to companies which move into markets or products that bear little relation to ones they already operate in.|
|Dividend||The portion of a company’s after-tax earnings that is distributed to shareholders.|
|Equity||Equity is the holding or stake that shareholders have in a company. Equity capital is raised by the issue of new shares or by retaining profit.|
|Exposure||Exposure is the amount of risk the holder of an asset or security is faced with as a consequence of holding the security or asset. For an insurer, its exposure may also relate to the risk related to policies issued.|
|Financial Flexibility||The company’s ability to access additional sources of capital funding.|
|Income Statement||A summary of all the expenditure and income of a company over a set period.|
|Interest||Money paid for the use of money.|
|Investment Income||The income generated by a company’s portfolio of investments.|
|Investment Portfolio||A collection of investments held by an individual investor or financial institution.|
|Liabilities||All financial claims, debts or potential losses incurred by an individual or an organisation.|
|Liquidity||The speed at which assets can be converted to cash. The ability of an insurer to convert its assets into cash to pay claims if necessary. Market liquidity refers to the ease with which a security can be bought or sold quickly and in large volumes without substantially affecting the market price.|
|Net Profit||Trading/operating profits after deducting the expenses detailed in the profit and loss account such as interest, tax, depreciation, auditors’ fees and directors’ fees.|
|Net Retention||The amount of insurance that a ceding company keeps for its own account and does not reinsure.|
|Operational Risk||The risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people or systems or from external events. This includes legal risk, but excludes strategic risk and reputational risk.|
|Premium||The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.|
|Rating Horizon||The rating outlook period|
|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.|
Salient Points of Accorded Ratings
GCR affirms that a.) no part of the rating process was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the rating was based solely on the merits of rated entities, security or financial instrument being rated; and c.) such rating was an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.
The credit rating has been disclosed to Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited. The rating above was solicited by, or on behalf of, the rated entity, and therefore, GCR has been compensated for the provision of the rating.
Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings, and other written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible. The information received from Alliance Insurance Corporation Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit rating included:
- Audited financial statements as at 31 December 2018;
- Four years of comparative audited financial statements to 31 December
- Full year budgeted financial statements for 2019;
- Unaudited interim results to 31 July 2019;
- Reinsurance cover for 2019; and
- Other relevant documents.