A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a-” of PMG Assurance Ltd. (PMG) (Bermuda). The outlook for both ratings is negative.
The ratings reflect PMG’s excellent capitalization, historically strong operating performance and strategic position as the captive insurance company for the Sony Group, whose ultimate parent is Sony Corporation (Sony) [NYSE:SNE]. PMG’s role is to meet certain global insurance requirements of Sony Group members. Beginning in 2010, PMG did not renew nor participate in any form of non-related, third-party treaties. PMG continues its operations, but with a strategic change in underwriting directed fully toward Sony-related business as a “pure” captive.
The company’s strengths are derived from its underwriting focus, long-standing customer relationships and conservative operating strategy. PMG writes mostly proportional property and marine reinsurance business and ceased writing life business effective Jan. 16, 2011. However, going forward, PMG expects to add a small amount of employee benefits coverage. The company maintains a large exposure to earthquake-related losses in Japan due to its coverage of Sony’s risks.
Due to the nature of the relationship between PMG and Sony, the changes in Sony’s credit risk profile have put pressure on PMG’s ratings. PMG’s success is reliant on Sony’s ability to support its credit risk profile, competitiveness and risk management. The captive continues to be an integral component of Sony’s risk management platform. A.M. Best’s view of third-party credit ratings and market-based credit risk measures of Sony indicates negative rating pressure on PMG.
Additionally, negative rating pressure might arise if there is any significant downward movement in Sony’s risk profile. Any upward rating movement is predicated on improvement in Sony’s risk profile coupled with maintenance of PMG’s capital strength.
A.M. Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Key insurance criteria reports utilized:
- Alternative Risk Transfer (ART)
- Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies
- The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation
- Understanding Universal BCAR
This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please visit Ratings & Criteria Center.
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