A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a+” from “a” of Renaissance Reinsurance Ltd. and Dublin-based Renaissance Reinsurance of Europe. Best also upgraded the ICR to “bbb+” from “bbb”, the debt ratings on senior notes to “bbb+” from “bbb” and preferred stock to “bbb-” from “bb+” of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. as well as the indicative debt ratings for securities available under shelf registration for RenaissanceRe for senior notes to “bbb+” from “bbb”, subordinated notes to “bbb” from “bbb-” and preferred stock to “bbb-” from “bb+”.
In addition, Best assigned an indicative debt rating of “bbb-” to the Series D cumulative perpetual preferred shares to be issued by RenaissanceRe. The outlook for all ratings has been revised to positive from stable.
“The FSRs of ‘A-‘ (Excellent) and the ICRs of ‘a-‘ of DaVinci Reinsurance Ltd., Overseas Partners Cat Ltd. and the operating subsidiaries of Glencoe Group Holdings Ltd. remain unchanged,” said Best. “All the above companies are domiciled in Hamilton, Bermuda except where otherwise noted.”
Best said its rating actions “reflect RenaissanceRe’s continued strong capitalization and–despite taking over $1 billion in losses from the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes–an historical track record (with the exception of 2004 and 2005) of exceptional underwriting performance and superior risk management techniques. Earnings have been strong for 2006 year to date as a result of improved property catastrophe market conditions in the United States stemming from the 2005 hurricanes, resulting in growth in common equity of over 30 percent over the first nine months of 2006. In the 10 years preceding 2004, RenaissanceRe generated returns on equity at the 20 percent range and greater.
“The ratings also consider the stability of RenaissanceRe’s senior management since the turnover experienced in November 2005 following the receipt of “Wells Notices” from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”
However, Best also indicated that as “a market leader in global property catastrophe reinsurance, RenaissanceRe’s earnings remain exposed to high severity losses associated with catastrophic events on a worldwide basis such as those experienced in 2004 and 2005. Furthermore, RenaissanceRe’s specialty and individual risk businesses have experienced rapid growth in recent years with the individual risk unit taking significant losses from the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.
“Nonetheless, these factors are somewhat mitigated by RenaissanceRe’s disciplined and analytical underwriting approach, sophisticated catastrophe modeling capabilities and the active monitoring controls over the individual risk business.”
Best noted that it would “continue to monitor the group’s risk-adjusted capital, financial leverage ratios and fixed charge coverage with the expectation that RenaissanceRe will remain within acceptable ranges to support its FSRs, ICRs and debt ratings.”
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.