SINGAPORE-(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best affirmed the B+ (Good) financial strength rating and the ‘bbb-‘ (Good) long-term issuer credit rating of Accuro Health Insurance Society Limited (Accuro) (New Zealand). The outlook for these credit ratings (ratings) is negative.
The ratings reflect Accuro’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best rates as adequate, as well as its adequate operating results, limited business profile and appropriate corporate risk management.
Accuro’s balance sheet strength rating is supported by its risk-adjusted capitalization, which is expected to remain at least adequate over the medium term as measured by Best’s capital adequacy ratio (BCAR). Accuro is undertaking a significant investment to upgrade its policy administration system, with development and implementation costs expected to result in an increase in intangible assets in the near term. The negative outlook reflects continued uncertainty and potential pressure on Accuro’s risk-adjusted capitalization in the near to medium term, which remains sensitive to changes in intangible assets and revenue fluctuations.
AM Best expects Accuro’s regulatory solvency to remain adequate, although the buffer above the regulatory minimum is expected to decrease in the near term. In addition, the company has a small absolute capital base of NZ$10.1 million at the end of the fiscal year 31 August 2021, increasing the sensitivity of its capital adequacy to stress scenarios. AM Best believes that Accuro’s financial flexibility is limited given its status as a member-owned organization. However, the company has the ability to make interest rate adjustments at relatively short notice to maintain profitability.
AM Best believes that Accuro’s operating results are adequate with an average five-year return on equity ratio of 4.6% (fiscal years 2017-2021). The company’s combined ratio is generally tracked at a level of profitability, which reflects Accuro’s status as a not-for-profit organization that provides health insurance in New Zealand. Investment income remains a key driver of Accuro’s operating results, with an average five-year net investment return (including gains/losses) of 3.1% (fiscal years 2017-2021).
The company’s business profile rating of limited reflects its relatively small operations and limited product and geographic diversification. Accuro had less than 3% market share in the New Zealand health insurance industry based on gross written premiums in 2021. The company has achieved modest premium growth over the past five years, supported by competitive advantages arising from innovative product offerings and high quality customers service.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless otherwise noted, ratings have not changed since this announcement.
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