LONDON, 24 March 2016
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of "a-" of National General Insurance Company (P.S.C.) (NGI) (United Arab Emirates). The outlook for both ratings remains stable. The ratings of NGI reflect the company's very strong risk-adjusted capitalisation, track record of good technical performance and well-established business profile in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). An offsetting rating factor is the adverse reserve development reported by NGI during 2015 following a change in its reserving approach in order to comply with local insurance regulations.
NGI's risk-adjusted capitalisation remains very strong in 2015 despite having fallen as a result of a decline in shareholders' equity and an increase in net reserve risk, both emanating from a strengthening of 2015 and prior-year reserves. In particular, the company has adjusted its reserving approach for incurred but not reported and unearned premium reserve calculations, which has negatively impacted 2015 results and has led to a restatement of 2014 financials. A.M. Best anticipates prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain commensurate with the current ratings, supported by robust internal capital generation and the continued divesture of higher-risk real estate and equity assets.
NGI continues to have a track record of good technical performance, with profits recorded in each of the past five years. Whilst the aforementioned reserve strengthening has impacted NGI's non-life technical performance in 2015 and 2014, both years remain profitable, and the company has continued to achieve a good five-year average combined ratio of 93.7% (2011-2015). Robust underwriting performance has been maintained despite prevailing competitive market conditions in the company's domestic market, with significant pressure on premium rates across most lines of business.
NGI has a well-established business profile in the UAE, ranked amongst the top ten national insurers by 2015 gross written premium. NGI has a strong presence in the motor and medical business lines, and during 2015, was appointed as one of nine insurers licensed to participate in Dubai's mandatory medical scheme. The granting of this license supported premium growth in 2015 and is expected to be a key driver of future expansion.
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