AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Société Hospitalière d’Assurances Mutuelles (Sham) (France). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Sham’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
Sham’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects Sham’s risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain at the strongest level through the medium term. The company benefits from a liquid investment portfolio composed of high-quality assets and its history of prudent reserving. Offsetting factors in the balance sheet strength assessment include a high dependence on reinsurance, with the company ceding more than 60% of its gross written premium (GWP) in 2021. Sham’s long-standing relationship with its reinsurance panel of high quality somewhat mitigate the risks associated with this dependence.
Sham’s adequate operating performance assessment is supported by an average return on equity of 3.7% for the five-year period ending in 2021, as calculated by AM Best. In 2021, the group reported a net profit of EUR 30.7 million (2020: EUR 2.9 million loss). In recent years, non-technical results have offset negative technical results. Combined ratios, which average 109.7% for the five-year period ending in 2021, reflect conservative provisioning practices that tend to generate positive reserve development on seasoned cohorts.
Sham’s neutral business profile assessment is supported by its established position in France’s, Italy’s and Spain’s medical professional liability insurance (MPLI) markets. Since 2016, the group has expanded beyond France into Spain, Italy and Germany; international operations now account a material proportion of the company’s GWP. In 2018, the company rebranded as Relyens to reflect its new profile. Concurrent with its geographical expansion, Sham has made sustained investments in ancillary risk management services for members that are expected to diversify its profile further. While the net contribution of these services remains a smaller part of the company’s profile, they are expected to grow through the medium term. The company’s concentration to MPLI risk remains an offsetting factor in the assessment.
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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