A.M. Best awards Swedish Club ‘excellent’ rating

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A.M. Best Ratings Services 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.”