A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) of Bahamas First General Insurance Company Limited (Nassau, Bahamas). The rating outlook is stable.
The rating reflects BFG’s excellent capitalization, historically profitable operating results, conservative risk management strategies and growing market presence in the Caribbean.
These positive attributes are supported by BFG’s effective use of reinsurance and conservative investment strategy, which has enabled the company to increase its capital and enhance its financial strength over the past five years. The rating also recognizes management’s regional market expertise and its commitment to sound underwriting practices.
BFG increased its capital by $5 million prior to year-end 2005 through the issuance of preferred shares to offset hurricane losses and support growth initiatives. In addition, BFG continues to benefit from the sustainable competitive advantages derived from the ownership of key island agents and strategic agency relationships, which have allowed it to establish name recognition and market share.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are BFG’s geographic concentration as a Bahamian insurance provider, which exposes it to catastrophic loss accumulation from hurricanes. In 2005, the company incurred net hurricane-related losses of $1.5 million from
Wilma; however, BFG’s strong catastrophe reinsurance program has proven effective in protecting its surplus position and losses to a manageable level.
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