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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Arab War Risks Insurance Syndicate

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” (Good) of Arab War Risks Insurance Syndicate (AWRIS) (Bahrain). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect AWRIS’ 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.

AWRIS’ balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is comfortably in excess of the threshold required for the strongest assessment level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The syndicate’s balance sheet strength assessment benefits from a relatively conservative investment strategy, low net underwriting leverage and prudent reserving practices. AM Best considers AWRIS to have a very high dependence on retrocession coverage in order to provide capacity to members and manage potential volatility from large losses. Elevated risk associated with this dependence and the syndicate’s ability to renew the programme is mitigated partly by its track record of profitable underwriting and limited dependence on any single retrocession partner. Given the nature of AWRIS’ operations and membership structure as a syndicate of (re)insurance companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, risks associated with the permanence of capital is a further offsetting factor.

AWRIS has a track record of strong operating performance, demonstrated by a five-year (2018-2022) weighted average combined ratio of 64.6% and a five-year return-on-equity ratio (ROE) of 6.7%. AWRIS’ underwriting performance has been supported by low loss ratios, demonstrated by a five-year weighted average loss ratio of 2.4%. The syndicate’s ROE metrics are considered supportive of the strong operating performance assessment given its high level of capitalisation, which depresses ROE.

AWRIS has an established position as a niche underwriter of marine war risks across the MENA region for its members. As a niche operator, AM Best views the syndicate’s concentration by line of business as an offsetting factor, albeit the syndicate is starting to expand its product offering with the support of reinsurance partners. This is offset partially by good geographic diversification within the region. There is limited dependence on any single member with regard to premium income, and the syndicate has seen some growth in members in recent years. Nevertheless, there remains a reliance on continued membership participation.

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

Copyright © 2023 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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