A.M. Best Ratings Services Ltd has awarded a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating of “a-“. to The Swedish Club with a stable outlook, claiming the Club is expected to maintain an excellent risk-adjusted capitalisation throughout 2015.
As a mutual association, the Club accepts some volatility in underwriting performance, it said, but, with five years of profitable operations out of the last six, free reserves have increased from US$105.9 million at year-end 2008 to US$164.8 million at year-end 2013.
While recognising that large claims or substantial investment losses could have a significant impact on future operating performance, A.M. Best said it expected risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain supportive of the ratings.
A.M. Best said in a statement: “The Club reported a good profit for 2013 of US$17.0 million before tax and transfer to safety reserve (2012: US$9.1 million), reflecting a strong technical result and solid investment earnings. In 2014, a good pre-tax profit is again expected.
“The Club has a strong underwriting record with a five year (2009-2013) average combined ratio of 99.2%, in spite of the combined ratio being around 110% for 2011 and 2012. Investment earnings also have been subject to some volatility, due in part to the high proportion of equity investments, ” A.M. Best stressed.
Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club, said: “We are delighted that A.M. Best has recognised the importance The Swedish Club places on its strategy of steady progress within a framework of gross prime growth against a backdrop of a positive financial performance. The Swedish Club remains committed to meeting the needs of its members and the demands of a global shipping market.”