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AM Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Rating of ASSA Compañía de Seguros S.A.

AM Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” (Excellent) from “a” (Excellent) and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of ASSA Compañía de Seguros S.A. (ASSA) (Panama City, Panama). The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been revised to stable from positive, while the outlook of the FSR is stable. ASSA is a subsidiary of ASSA Compañía Tenedora, S.A. and is owned ultimately by Grupo ASSA, S.A., a financial service holding company publicly traded on the Panama Stock Exchange.

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect ASSA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

The Long-Term ICR upgrade is based on ASSA’s sound operating performance, which AM Best expects to be sustained over the long term while growing its top line amid market developments and current economic uncertainty.

The ratings also reflect ASSA’s balance sheet strength, which is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), sound underwriting quality and profitability, solid capital management, an adequate reinsurance program and an ERM framework that is supportive of its risk profile. Additionally, the company has no financial leverage as it fully repaid the financing used in the 2018 transaction to acquire Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.’s (Generali) Panama branch.

ASSA is a Panama-based insurer established in 1980 and ranks as that country’s largest insurer in terms of market share, based on premium. The company, which has a subsidiary in El Salvador, is diversified geographically and has a diversified portfolio of products and investments, with net premiums written mainly composed of auto, individual and group life and health insurance. ASSA operates through a network of brokers, agents and direct distribution channels.

The company´s capital base has grown consistently through reinvestment of earnings despite intangibles of Generali’s acquired business that continue to be amortized and (un)realized capital losses that hit in 2022, as a result of increased interest rates by central banks worldwide in an attempt to tame inflation, but recovered in 2023 even though rates continue to be high. This was a result of increased interest rates by central banks worldwide in an attempt to tame inflation. A well-diversified reinsurance program placed among a high-quality panel of reinsurers has reinforced the company’s growth strategy, and consequently, counterparty credit risk exposures have been minimized.

In 2023, ASSA’s profitable underwriting results were sustained through a well-contained expense structure, as reflected by a combined ratio well below 100%, mainly driven by improvements in auto and operating expenses. This followed pressure in 2022 that was driven by a spike in auto and health claims in conjunction with intensive investments in technology and digitalization aimed at sustaining future growth and efficiencies. Furthermore, the company has already addressed deviations in its health book of business, which is expected to enhance overall results in the midterm. ASSA maintains a sound risk profile, and financial income continues to support its results; however, the company is not dependent on this revenue to achieve positive bottom-line results. ASSA constantly reviews its underwriting guidelines to improve the performance of business segments that are deviating from targets.

Positive rating actions, while highly unlikely, could take place if ASSA achieves material improvements in its ERM framework. Negative rating actions could result if operating performance deteriorates to levels no longer supportive of the current ratings. Additionally, negative rating actions could occur if the company’s available capital no longer supports its risks, either from capital outflows or from a greater risk appetite, or from a higher financial leverage or lower interest coverage metrics at the holding company.

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 Performance Assessments, 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 specializing 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

Copyright © 2024 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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