AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” (Good) to Interamericana de Fianzas y Seguros, S.A. (IFS) (Panama). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect IFS’ balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
The stable outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that the company will maintain its overall balance sheet strength assessment at the very strong level, supported by risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). In addition, ongoing strategic initiatives implemented by IFS’ management will help it maintain stable operating performance over the intermediate term and build its presence in Panama’s market.
IFS was incorporated in August 2020 and is licensed to operate in Panama’s general insurance branches, as well as surety and individual lines of business. The company is based in Panama City, Panama. IFS develops its business inside Panama and has a diversified portfolio mainly focused in surety, in addition to property/casualty and life business. As of January 2023, IFS ranked as the country’s 17th largest insurer based on its 1.11% market share of overall premiums. IFS is Panama’s second largest surety writer with an 18.2% share of premiums.
IFS’ very strong balance sheet strength assessment is based on its strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by BCAR, its conservative investment portfolio allocated mainly in Panama government bonds, solid liquidity measures that are enhanced by generally positive underwriting, and operating cash flows, as reflected by a return-on-equity ratio of 2.0% in 2022.
The company has shown profitability since its inception, which is driven by improvements in its underwriting performance as reflected by premium sufficiency over the past two years. AM Best expects IFS to stabilize its operating performance in the following years while maintaining positive bottom-line results.
IFS’ ERM practices are considered appropriate, as these were built in reference to the framework COSO Report 2013, 2017 and are well-integrated into its operations. The company has a sound reinsurance program in place with reinsurers that are highly rated.
Negative rating actions could take place if there is a deterioration in the company's risk-adjusted capitalization due to major capital outflows or a negative impact to its operating performance due to a large increase in claims or cost structure. Negative rating actions also could occur if volatility in the company's performance ratios and accelerated growth remain without supporting capital in the short to intermediate term.
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