SINGAPORE–(ZEEST MEDIA)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) of Guild Insurance Limited (GIL) (Australia). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect GIL’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. In addition, the ratings factor in no rating lift or drag from the company’s ultimate ownership by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGOA).
GIL’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which was at the strongest level in fiscal year-end 2022 (30 June 2022) and is expected to remain at this level over the medium term. Whilst GIL’s financial flexibility is considered limited given its ultimate ownership by a not-for-profit organisation, capital adequacy in recent years has been supported by the company’s prudent capital management. During fiscal-year 2022, a material release of GIL’s COVID-19-related provisions helped to bolster the company’s regulatory solvency and risk-adjusted capitalisation.
AM Best views GIL’s operating performance as adequate, with an average return on equity of 3.7% (fiscal-years 2018-2022). In fiscal-year 2022, GIL recorded a favourable pre-tax income of AUD 28.4 million primarily due to the aforementioned release of COVID-19-related provisions. However, this is partially offset by the adverse impact of rising claims inflation and weather-related event losses. Prospectively, AM Best expects an adequate level of operating performance to be maintained and underpinned by positive technical profits, supported by expense efficiencies over the medium term.
AM Best views GIL’s business profile as neutral. The company is considered a small insurer in Australia’s non-life sector, with gross premiums of AUD 264 million and an overall market share of below 1% in 2022. However, GIL is a leading provider of insurance protection to allied health professional associations, supported by its direct access to members of its parent, PGOA, which is a national employers’ organisation representing community pharmacies across Australia.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.
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