AM Best Affirms Argus A- Excellent Rating

December 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

AM Best has affirmed the Argus Group’s Financial Strength Rating of A- [Excellent].

Argus Group CEO, Alison Hill commented, “AM Best’s rating is a reflection of the Argus Group’s focus on diversifying the company’s local and international products and services, which includes the merging of the broker business in Europe to create Antes, the largest domestic insurance broker in Malta and the purchase in 2020 of the two largest primary healthcare practices in Bermuda.

“In addition to our balance sheet strength, as an organization we will continue to do the right thing for our customers to ensure everyone wins. We will invest in diverse and inclusive teams, provide outstanding experiences for our customers and deliver attractive and sustainable shareholder returns.”

AM Best’s rating rationale noted the following drivers:

  • “Argus’ business segments of Americas … and Europe … provide premium and earnings diversification. Argus’ addition of medical practice assets in Bermuda enhances diversification and adds additional non-insurance revenue.”
  • “The property & casualty business has consistently produced positive overall earnings over the last five years through fiscal year-end March 2021. Profitability metrics rank Argus’s property & casualty business high compared to its Caribbean peers, and it generally outperforms the majority of these peers on a yearly basis.”
  • “Argus has controlled medical costs through enhanced medical management of complex conditions and improved contractual arrangements with overseas providers. The acquisition of medical practices in Bermuda enhances the opportunity to control medical costs.”

In the release posted on their website, AM Best stated, “AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating [FSR] of A- [Excellent] and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating [Long-Term ICR] of “a-” [Excellent] of Argus Insurance Company Limited [Argus Insurance] and Bermuda Life Insurance Company Limited [Bermuda Life]. Both companies are subsidiaries of Argus Group Holdings Limited [Argus Group] [BSX: AGH.BH]. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb-” [Good] of Argus Group. All companies are domiciled in Hamilton, Bermuda. The outlook of these Credit Ratings [ratings] is stable.”

“Argus Group’s risk-adjusted capitalization is at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio [BCAR], as of fiscal year-end 2021. This is in line with fiscal-year 2020, and was driven primarily by its earnings retention net of dividends and share repurchases. For several years, the group has made significant progress on reducing its exposure to illiquid assets and redeploying capital into high quality and marketable securities to increase liquidity and add financial flexibility. This transition is mostly complete as the vast majority of the portfolio is allocated to investment grade fixed income and cash and short-term investments.”

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