MEXICO CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–am the best has confirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” (good) from Seguros e Inversiones, SA (SISA) (El Salvador). The outlook of these credit ratings (ratings) is Stable.
The ratings reflect SISA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best rates as very strong, as well as the company’s reasonable operating performance, neutral business profile and risk management.
The ratings also reflect SISA’s strongest risk-adjusted capitalization as measured by Best’s capital adequacy ratio (BCAR), supported by consistent profitability, a diversified business profile and a market-leading position and adequate reinsurance programme. The company’s affiliation with Inversiones Financieras Grupo Imperia Cuscatlan SA (IFGIC) offers synergies and operational efficiencies. These positive valuation factors are offset by El Salvador’s current macroeconomic conditions, which could impact SISA’s asset allocation strategy within non-investment grade fixed income.
SISA began operations in 1962. At the end of 2021, the company was the market leader in El Salvador with 27% of gross written premiums for domestic risks. Sixty percent of the business portfolio consists of life insurance products, 28 percent property-casualty products and the remaining 12 percent health insurance. SISA’s distribution channels are primarily positioned with brokers, pension funds, bancassurance and government. In 2020-2021, the merger and acquisition of Seguros SISA SV, SA was led by IFGIC to support SISA’s growing national and regional expansion.
SISA’s risk-adjusted BCAR capitalization supports the ratings and the acquisition further strengthened the capital base. In addition, SISA’s balance sheet is supported by an extensive reinsurance program with reinsurers of excellent security. AM Best believes the company’s very strong balance sheet valuation will continue to be pressured by the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals and its exposure to non-investment grade securities.
The company had a combined ratio of over 100% for 2021, reflecting the impact of losses from the COVID-19 pandemic on its life book, as well as the increased frequency of its auto business as a result of economic reopening. However, SISA has historically demonstrated disciplined underwriting and has consistently reported sufficient overall premium levels that compare favorably to its peers, reflected in an improved combined ratio of 89% as of September 2022.
Key factors that could lead to positive rating actions for SISA include continued favorable profitability trends while maintaining capital adequacy driven by good underwriting practices. Conversely, a significant deterioration in operating performance and further pressure on balance sheet strength due to El Salvador’s macroeconomic conditions could result in negative rating action.
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