AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “bbb+” (Good) of The Hand-in-Hand Mutual Fire Insurance Company Limited (HIHF) (Guyana) and the Hand-in-Hand Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited (HIHL). Both entities are referred to as Hand-in-Hand Group. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings of Hand-in-Hand Group reflect its 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 (ERM).
HIHF is the oldest insurance company in Guyana, established in 1865, and is the second-largest carrier in the country’s insurance industry. The company writes property/casualty lines of business with a market share of approximately 9.8%, based on premiums. As of December 2022, its business portfolio was composed mainly of fire and motor coverages, although it also operates heavily in the accidents and liability market. The company has taken a cautious approach to the recent economic growth in the country, by selecting its risks driven by profitability and proper reinsurance support.
HIHL was incorporated in 1966, and as a mutual company, it is owned by policyholders with a small amount of preferred shares issued to HIHF. The company is engaged predominantly in underwriting group health and life insurance, with a significant portfolio of ordinary life and annuities. Its market share is estimated at 21.0% of premiums. Overall, the Guyana insurance market experienced premium growth of 29.4% in 2022 to USD 95 million.
Hand-in-Hand Group’s balance sheet strength assessment of very strong reflects each member’s stable capital base, with responsible asset-liability management and proper reinsurance coverage. Investment risk is an important component of the required capital, due to the limited available securities in the market in which both companies operate. As mutual companies, the quality of the capital is very good because of their stability and main outflows come from their triennial profit-sharing with entitled policyholders.
Operating performance at Hand-in-Hand Group is considered adequate with manageable loss and benefits paid ratios; nevertheless, the group has seen some volatility in premium growth and reported bottom-line results, with positive results for 2023, albeit lower than in 2022 in HIHF as investments valuations have leveled out after a year of strong appreciations in 2022. Hand-in-Hand Group shares policies and procedures and performs stress tests as part of its ERM and is continuously strengthening its risk management capabilities.
The stable outlooks for Hand-in-Hand Group reflects AM Best’s expectation that the group will continue to perform within the adequate assessment of operating performance in terms of underwriting quality and profitability.
Positive rating actions for HIHF and HIHL could take place if the companies continue their positive trend in risk-adjusted capitalization, while building up their capital bases in a consistent manner. Conversely, negative rating actions for HIHF and HIHL could occur if there is a significant decline in the companies’ capital bases or if operating performance experiences deterioration over time from sustained underwriting or net losses.
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 www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2023 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
+52 55 1102 2720, ext. 122
Associate Director, Public Relations
+1 908 882 2310
Senior Director, Analytics
+52 55 1102 02720, ext. 108
Senior Public Relations Specialist
+1 908 882 2318