AMSTERDAM: AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a-” of Polskie Towarzystwo Reasekuracji S.A (Polish Re).
The ratings reflect Polish Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The ratings also reflect the lift Polish Re receives due to the support provided by its ultimate parent, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax); in particular, the explicit parental guarantee in place for Polish Re. In addition, Fairfax provides technical support in areas such as reserving, retrocession protection and investment management services.
The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.
Polish Re’s strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), coupled with a conservative and liquid investment portfolio, and good internal capital generation, collectively contribute to an overall balance sheet assessment of strong by AM Best.
Polish Re’s reserves have been historically volatile, stemming largely from motor third-party liability (MTPL) business in Poland, which negatively impacts the balance sheet assessment; however, the company has reported net positive reserve development on prior years’ losses in four of the past six years.
Polish Re’s tightened underwriting discipline in recent years has reversed the historically unstable operating performance trend, as evidenced by a five-year average combined ratio of 98.14% (2014-2018) with underwriting profits reported in four of these past five years. The main source of historical volatility has been the MTPL portfolio, which was put into run-off in 2014. The company reported a net profit of PLN 17.04 million (USD 4.54 million) in 2018, reflecting a 98.2% combined ratio and healthy income generated by the investment portfolio.
Polish Re benefits from its diversified portfolio offering and long-standing presence across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as its position as the sole domestic reinsurer in Poland. However, the reinsurer’s operations are fragmented, spanning 40 markets, and its profile is constrained by its lack of scale in any given market.
AM Best considers Polish Re’s ERM to be developed and appropriate for the company’s risk profile and operational scope.
Edited by Kiran Khan