AM Best Assigns Credit Ratings to British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited
AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb" (Good) to British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited (BCIC) (Jamaica). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect BCIC's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
BCIC is a property/casualty insurer domiciled in Jamaica and has been in business for approximately 60 years. The company generates the majority of business in its domicile of Jamaica, while also operating in Turks and Caicos and Barbados. BCIC offers an array of insurance products through its branches and agents, including commercial and residential property as well as automobile coverages.
BCIC's balance sheet strength assessment is supported by its very strong risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), partially offset by high reinsurance dependence on its property book of business to protect surplus and earnings in the event of a catastrophe. The balance sheet strength assessment also reflects the company's relatively liquid investment portfolio composed of government of Jamaica short-term repurchase agreements, cash and cash equivalents and fixed income securities. The company has been able to generate organic surplus growth, mainly derived from overall earnings and despite paying regular dividends.
BCIC has a proven track record of solid underwriting and overall operating results. Overall earnings have been driven by favorable underwriting performance, as evidenced by the cmpany's combined ratios over the prior five- and 10-year periods, underpinned by a low expense ratio. Investment income has been a steady contributor to the company's strong operating results. Return metrics have been solid and ranks BCIC favorably in comparison with its Caribbean peers. The company's operating performance has benefited from BCIC's appropriate ERM framework, comprehensive reinsurance program and prudent underwriting guidelines.
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