Best Removes Bahamas First Gen’l., Cayman First Ratings from Review

November 19, 2010

A.M. Best Co. has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of ‘A-‘ (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” of Bahamas First General Insurance Company Limited (BFG).

Best has also removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the FSR of ‘A-‘ (Excellent) and ICR “a-” of Cayman First Insurance Company Limited (CFIC), formerly Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd.).

The outlook assigned to the ratings of BFG is stable, while the outlook assigned to the ratings of CFIC is negative. Both companies are subsidiaries of Bahamas First Holdings Limited (BFH). These rating actions follow BFH’s recently completed acquisition of CFIC from Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited.

Best noted that “as the primary holding and major source of earnings for BFH, the ratings of BFG reflect its continued excellent capitalization, favorable operating performance and established presence in the Bahamian market.

“These factors are supported by the company’s conservative catastrophe program, underwriting controls, local market expertise and solid risk management programs. These positive rating factors are offset by BFG’s geographic concentration and catastrophe exposure, particularly to hurricanes in the Caribbean.

“The ratings of CFIC recognize its solid capitalization and positive non-health operating results along with its expertise in the Cayman market.

“The negative outlook on CFIC acknowledges the drag on its operating results due to the significant losses emanating from the company’s accident and health lines of business. BFH’s management has developed and implemented strategies to reduce these losses and their effect on earnings. ”

Best added that it “will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these strategies and CFIC’s integration into BFH’s existing operations.”

Source: A.M. Best

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