AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” (Good) of Gar-Bo Försäkring AB (Gar-Bo) (Sweden). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Gar-Bo’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by Gar-Bo’s risk-adjusted capitalisation, which as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is assessed as strong. AM Best expects the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation to adequately support the balance sheet assessment of strong over the medium term, underpinned by good earnings generation, which should in turn sustain the company’s growth plans.
Gar-Bo’s balance sheet strength assessment also benefits from a good liquidity profile and prudent reserving practices. A partly offsetting factor is the company’s moderate reinsurance dependence, although the associated risk is mitigated somewhat by the use of a well-diversified panel of reinsurance counterparties of good credit quality. Additionally, the company’s relatively high allocations to equities and unrated bonds exposes it to elevated investment risk, which increases the potential for volatility in its risk-adjusted capitalisation.
Gar-Bo has a track record of strong operating performance, as evidenced by a five-year weighted average return on equity of 17.5% (2018-2022), as calculated by AM Best, with balanced contributions from technical and investment incomes. In 2022, the company reported a combined ratio of 86.6% (2021: 88.3%), supported by strong results in its traditional and identified growth markets.
Gar-Bo is a niche insurer in the Nordic market that underwrites long-duration construction products including surety, primarily in Sweden, with expansion efforts in Denmark and Norway. Gross written premium increased to SEK 458 million (EUR 39.4 million) in 2022, from SEK 396 million (EUR 34.0 million) in the prior year. In AM Best’s view, the specialist construction services that the company provides, largely to mid-market construction and building clients, affords a competitive advantage in its domestic market. Partly offsetting factors include a heightened regulatory risk due to the company’s product offerings, as well as its geographic concentration in Sweden.
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 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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