AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” (Excellent) of MAPFRE Panamá S.A. (MAPFRE Panamá) (Panama City, Panama). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
MAPFRE Panamá is a member of MAPFRE S.A., which on a consolidated basis has a balance sheet strength that AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The ratings reflect MAPFRE Panamá’s geographic and strategic importance to the MAPFRE group, given its Central America presence, as well as the integration of the MAPFRE group’s practices, procedures, reinsurance, draft facilities, underwriting selection and ERM framework into MAPFRE Panamá, and the synergies and operating efficiencies derived from being a group member. MAPFRE Panamá was Panama’s second-largest insurer in 2022. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the competitive dynamics that persist in Panama’s property/casualty segment.
MAPFRE Panamá ranks among the top companies in Panama in the country’s health and auto insurance segments. However, since 2021, MAPFRE Panamá has shown signs of premium contraction.
The ratings also reflect MAPFRE Panamá’s strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) on a consolidated basis, solid capital base and good reserve position that provides a sound financial flexibility. AM Best expects the company to sustain its capitalization level, in addition to its adherence to ERM practices and procedures implemented from the MAPFRE group.
MAPFRE Panamá’s combined ratio has been deteriorating since 2021, driven by its health and auto business lines that were impacted by claims frequency in conjunction with rising inflation. AM Best expects MAPFRE Panamá to resume positive technical results in the short term through its ongoing strict claims and expense containment strategies.
The strong competitive environment in Panama’s insurance market, especially in segments in which MAPFRE Panamá has leading positions, continues to generate challenging conditions and increased risk appetites across the industry, presenting operating performance challenges in specific segments such as auto, individual life and health.
If there are negative rating actions on the MAPFRE group, as a result of a sustained decline in operating performance below AM Best’s expectation for the strong assessment level, or a sustained deterioration in MAPFRE S.A.’s consolidated risk-adjusted capitalization, the ratings of MAPFRE Panamá would mirror those same actions.
A change in AM Best’s perception regarding the actual or perceived level of MAPFRE Panamá’s strategic importance to the MAPFRE group also could impact the company’s ratings.
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