A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to a from a- of Pozavarovalnica Sava d.d. (Sava Re) (Slovenia), the operating holding company of the Sava Re group. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Sava Res balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The rating upgrades reflect Sava Res track record of strong operating performance following the acquisition of Zavarovalnica Maribor d.d. in May 2013, as evidenced by a five-year (2013-2017) weighted average combined ratio of 94% and a five-year weighted average return on equity of 10%.
Sava Res balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation being at the strongest level, as measured by Bests Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The assessment also factors in the companys solid internal capital generation, low reliance on retrocession and good financial flexibility, with access to capital and debt markets.
Sava Res strong operating performance is driven by solid technical profitability, with an excellent five-year (2013-2017) weighted average loss ratio of 60%. The group originates a material proportion of its non-life business in Slovenias market (52% of its gross written premiums in 2017), where its leading competitive position and prudent underwriting enables it to generate strong and relatively stable underwriting earnings. This is offset partially by a relatively elevated expense base compared with peers, which translated in an expense ratio of 34% in 2017 (2016: 36%), impacted by the companys operations in the West Balkan markets. A.M. Best expects Sava Res operating performance to remain strong over the medium term, supported by disciplined underwriting and good risk selection.
Sava Re benefits from a strong position in its core market of Slovenia, where it had an 18% market share (in terms of gross written premiums) in 2017. The group also has a solid profile within the smaller insurance markets of the West Balkans and continues to cautiously develop its competitive position in the international reinsurance market. A.M. Best expects growth in premium volume to be moderate over the medium term, reflecting the combination of improving operating conditions in Slovenia, and the highly competitive nature of the international reinsurance market.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Bests 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 A.M. Bests Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Bests Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Bests Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Bests Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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