AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Blue Whale Re Ltd.
OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 4, 2019--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of Blue Whale Re Ltd. (Blue Whale) (Burlington, VT). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Blue Whale’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
The ratings also reflect Blue Whale’s strategic position as the captive insurer for Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) [NYSE: PFE], a leading global pharmaceutical company. As Blue Whale insures or reinsures Pfizer’s global property exposures, it plays an important role in Pfizer’s overall ERM and assumes a critical role in protecting the Pfizer enterprise’s assets.
Blue Whale’s capitalization is very strong, albeit reliant on its parent. It operates at conservative underwriting leverage levels; however, it provides coverages with extremely large limits, and its gross exposures per loss occurrence are elevated. Although Blue Whale benefits from reinsurance protection, its net retentions remain very substantial. Reinsurance is provided by a large panel of reinsurers, and Blue Whale relies on significant capacity to support its obligations. Therefore, it depends heavily on reinsurance. Nevertheless, AM Best recognizes the quality of the reinsurers, and the substantial financial resources and support available to the captive as part of the Pfizer group.
Due to the nature of the relationship between Blue Whale and Pfizer, changes in Pfizer’s credit risk can have certain impact on Blue Whale’s ratings, as it is dependent on Pfizer’s ability to support its credit risk profile, competitiveness and risk management. The captive continues to be an integral component of Pfizer’s risk management platform. AM Best’s view of third-party credit ratings and Pfizer’s market-based credit risk measures indicate stability, resulting in Blue Whale’s outlooks being stable.
The company’s results rebounded in 2018, as the captive recovered from the impact of Hurricane Maria, which occurred in late 2017. Resolution of all Hurricane Maria-related claims is expected by mid-2019, after which time reserves are expected to return to historical levels.
Positive rating actions could occur if the company’s operating performance improves to outperform similarly rated peers with supportive risk-adjusted capitalization. Negative rating action could occur if underwriting performance weakens and negatively impacts risk-adjusted capitalization over time, or if there is a material shift in risk profile that could potentially undermine the stability and profitability of the company. In addition, negative rating action could occur if the parent’s credit profile materially deteriorates.
AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and 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 .
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 Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings . For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases .
AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.
Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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SOURCE: AM Best
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PUB: 04/04/2019 10:04 AM/DISC: 04/04/2019 10:04 AM