AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a” (Excellent) from “a-” (Excellent) of INPEX Insurance, Ltd. (IIL) (Bermuda). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect IIL’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The rating upgrades are a reflection of IIL’s consistently robust operating performance metrics. The company has exhibited favourable trends in its premium volume, while simultaneously maintaining a high level of profitability, with an average combined ratio below 30% over the last five years (FY2018-2022). The company’s premium income showed notable growth in recent years mainly through a large-scale LNG project led by its parent company, INPEX CORPORATION (INPEX). Prospectively, while IIL’s underwriting risk will increase as it plays a bigger role in INPEX’s risk management system, AM Best expects the positive trends in the company’s underwriting performance to continue, with a much larger net premium base and stable profitability bolstered by a favourable claims experience and low-cost structure.
IIL’s balance sheet strength is well-supported by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is assessed at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The company’s total capital also was strengthened to USD 269 million as of 31 December 2022, from USD 109 million as of 31 December 2021, following a capital injection of USD 150 million from INPEX with the aim of expanding IIL’s underwriting capacity.
IIL is a single-parent captive of INPEX, which is the largest oil and gas exploration and production company in Japan. In its role as a single-parent captive, IIL mainly participates in energy operational risks of which the coverage mainly encompasses property damage, third-party liability and operator’s extra expenses. Recently, it cautiously ventured into underwriting oil and gas construction risk for the main operator project and operational risks of selected offshore wind projects. Although there is some product/geographic concentration, AM Best expects that such concentration can be partially mitigated as INPEX continues to expand its global footprint and IIL underwrites new risks.
Negative rating actions could occur if there is a substantial increase in underwriting losses caused by a material shift in risk appetite. In addition, any significant deterioration in INPEX’s credit profile, including its operating profitability, financial leverage and interest coverage levels, could put downward pressure on IIL’s ratings. While positive rating actions could occur if IIL demonstrates sustained improvement in its balance sheet strength metrics and consistently delivers exceptional underwriting results; however, the likelihood of such actions remains limited at this time.
AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.
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