AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of UnipolSai Assicurazioni S.p.A.
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a-" (Excellent) of UnipolSai Assicurazioni S.p.A. (UnipolSai) (Italy). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect UnipolSai's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
UnipolSai's balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which was at the strongest level at year-end 2020; AM Best expects the company's risk-adjusted capitalisation to be maintained at least at the very strong level. Factors also supporting balance sheet strength are the company's low reinsurance dependence, good internal capital generation and good financial flexibility. An offsetting factor is the concentration, albeit reduced by 8% from year end 2019, of UnipolSai's investment portfolio in Italian government bonds, which exposes its risk-adjusted capitalisation to volatility. UnipolSai's solvency capital requirement ratio under Solvency II was excellent at the end of Q1/2021, at 277%
The risk-adjusted capitalization level for UnipolSai's holding company, Unipol Gruppo S.p.A. (Unipol Gruppo), stood at the strongest level at year-end 2020. Although it has a somewhat higher level of financial leverage than UnipolSai, the holding company is considered to have a neutral impact on the ratings.
AM Best expects UnipolSai's technical performance to remain strong, driven by strong non-life insurance profitability, and for the life business, a 1.98% margin between average segregated accounts yield and average minimum guarantee (at Q1/2021). A track record of good non-life underwriting performance is demonstrated by a five-year average cmbined ratio of 92% (2016-2020). Non-life underwriting performance was particularly good in 2020 (a combined ratio of 85%, as calculated by AM Best) driven mainly by an improvement in motor loss experience due to lower vehicle usage, which is expected to continue into 2021. Life revenues were considerably impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the economy in 2020, but are expected to partly recover in 2021.
UnipolSai has a leading position in Italy's non-life segment, with a particularly strong position in motor. Performance is supported by the company's access to data and sophisticated pricing capabilities, as well as its extensive use of telematics applied to the non-life segment. However, the concentration of its business portfolio in Italy exposes the company's operations to any adverse changes in the economic and regulatory environment in the country.
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 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.
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