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Classified in: Covid-19 virus
Subject: Product/Service

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Gulf Insurance Limited

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of "bb" (Fair) of Gulf Insurance Limited (Gulf) (Trinidad and Tobago). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Gulf's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

The strong level of balance sheet strength is derived from the company's strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), adequate liquidity, and strategically conservative investment portfolio. However, the balance sheet assessment is limited due to the company's level of surplus. In addition, Gulf is highly dependent on reinsurance to mitigate losses and protect its surplus from the effects of weather-related catastrophes. Concerns persist relative to the macroeconomic and fiscal challenges faced by its ultimate parent Assuria N.V. (Assuria) (Suriname), and the potential financial strain that could be imposed on Gulf's balance sheet in the event that Assuria is impacted negatively.

Gulf's operating results in recent years have been supported by favorable underwriting performance, commission income derived from business ceded to reinsurers and investment income. Despite major economic headwinds in Gulf's operating territories due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company produced overall earnings in 2020 as demonstrated by solid profitability ratios.

Gulf's business profile is considered limited due to the geographic concentration of risks in its domestic Trinidad and Tobago market and its significant product concentration in property and auto. Notwithstanding, Gulf also operates in eight other Caribbean territories and maintains a strong reputation and brand recognition having operated in the Caribbean for over 45 years. The company's risk management capabilities are deemed to be appropriate, although a formal ERM framework continues to evolve; however, Assuria has adopted a corporate governance framework, which will be rolled out to all of its operating entities, including Gulf.

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 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 © 2021 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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