AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Kot Insurance Company AG

BY Business Wire | CORPORATE | 11/09/22 01:08 PM EST

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of ?bbb+? (Good) of Kot Insurance Company AG (Kot) (Switzerland). The outlook of the FSR is stable, while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR is negative.

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Kot?s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also reflect rating drag due to its association with Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX).

Kot is the captive reinsurer of PEMEX, the Mexican state-owned oil and gas company.

The negative Long-Term ICR outlook reflects ongoing pressures on PEMEX?s credit profile due to its negative free cash flow, high debt maturities and the resultant liquidity strain. Kot remains well-integrated within PEMEX and is important to the group as a cost-effective risk management tool. However, as PEMEX?s only reinsurance captive, Kot?s underwritten risks are concentrated in Mexico.

Kot?s very strong balance sheet is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best?s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects Kot to maintain a buffer over the minimum requirements for the strongest BCAR assessment in the medium term, supported by its relatively low net underwriting leverage and conservative investment strategy. An offsetting rating factor in the balance sheet strength assessment is Kot?s dependence on reinsurance to write risks with very high gross limits. The risk associated with this dependence is mitigated partly by a diversified retrocession panel and long-standing relationships with reinsurers of good credit quality.

Kot?s robust historical earnings have been driven by its underwriting account, with a five-year (2017-2021) weighted average combined ratio of 40.0% (as calculated by AM Best). However, results are exposed to some degree of volatility stemming from low frequency, high severity losses and in 2021, the combined ratio deteriorated to 85.8% (from 34.3% in 2020) driven by a significant claim affecting Kot?s offshore book of business, as well as a series of other mid-sized losses. Underwriting results improved again during the first six months of 2022, and AM Best expects the captive?s operating performance to remain supportive of a strong assessment over the cycle.

AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated throughout the world. For current Best?s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

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 use of Best?s Credit Ratings, Best?s Performance Assessments, Best?s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best?s Ratings & Assessments.

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

Copyright ? 2022 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Source: AM Best

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