Investor Relations

S&P Ratings

Overview

  • Qatar Insurance Co. Q.S.P.C. (QIC) reported an overall loss in its third-quarter results. This was mainly driven by losses recognized from the group’s proposed sale of its Gibraltar-based motor businesses.
  • The 2022 losses follow underwriting losses in each of the last five years.
  • We therefore lowered the issuer credit and financial strength ratings on QIC to ‘A-‘ from ‘A’.
  • The stable outlook reflects our belief that management’s actions will likely return the group to underwriting and overall profitability in 2023.

Rating Action

On Nov. 4, 2022, S&P Global Ratings lowered its issuer credit and financial strength ratings on QIC and its guaranteed subsidiaries to ‘A-‘ from ‘A’. The outlook is stable. At the same time, we lowered
our rating on QIC’s subordinated debt issued through QIC (Cayman) Ltd. to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’.

The rating action reflects the group’s recent poor underwriting results and underperformance against similarly rated peers, impairing our view on the company’s competitive position. The group has recorded underwriting losses in each of the last five years, driven by COVID-19 business interruption claims, higher than normal catastrophe losses, and volatility in its U.K. motor insurance book. QIC also reported an overall loss of Qatari riyal (QAR) 118 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2022. The result was adversely impacted by the QAR689 million loss recognized on the proposed sale of its Gibraltar businesses, which underwrite U.K. motor business sourced through Markerstudy. The U.K. motor business suffered further losses this year, as higher than expected inflation drove higher loss ratios across the market. In our opinion, the disposal of the businesses is unlikely to have a material effect on the group’s profitability going forward. While the underwriting entities contribute significant levels of premium (over $1.4 billion in 2021), the business tends to be relatively low margin and has seen significantly negative volatility in recent years.

Download the Full 2022 S & P RatingsDirect_Research – English

Overview

  • We believe that Qatar Insurance Company Q.S.P.C. (QIC) will likely receive the balance of its loan to Markerstudy (MS) in the first half of 2021.
  • The group reported another underwriting loss in 2020 on the back of COVID-19 and catastrophe losses. However, capitalization has improved through various management actions in 2020.
  • We are affirming our ‘A’ issuer credit and financial strength ratings on QIC and its guaranteed subsidiaries.
  • The outlook remains negative to reflect the possibility of a downgrade if QIC does not improve its underwriting performance over the next 12 months.

Rating Action

On March 23, 2021, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ‘A’ issuer credit and financial strength ratings on QIC and its guaranteed subsidiaries. The outlook remains negative. At the same time, we affirmed our ‘BBB+’ rating on QIC’s subordinated debt issued through Qatar Reinsurance Company Ltd. and QIC (Cayman) Ltd.

We believe that QIC will likely receive repayment of the outstanding amount of its loan to MS in the first half of 2021. This follows an investment by Pollen Street into MS announced in January 2021. We believe that QIC has managed the delayed repayment well such that it receives compensation on its loan while maintaining its important distribution relationship with MS.

QIC reported a much-reduced net profit in 2020 of Qatari riyal (QAR) 126 million (2019: QAR671 million) driven by additional claims from both COVID-19 and natural catastrophes. QIC’s combined ratio of 112% was higher than our expectation for 2020 and at the higher end of the reinsurance peer group. We have previously viewed QIC as having less volatility in its results than peers in the reinsurance sector such as Markel, Axis, and Lloyd’s, but in recent years QIC has come closer to their levels of volatility. Despite QIC’s strong investment performance, without the gain made on the partial sale of its subsidiary, QLM Life and Medical Insurance Company Q.P.S.C., the group would have recorded a net loss in 2020.

2020 is the fourth consecutive year that QIC has recorded an underwriting loss. While its Gulf segments have continued to perform well, QIC’s international segments (Qatar Re in particular) have dragged down the overall underwriting result. We have therefore maintained our negative outlook on QIC.

Despite pressure from its underwriting results, QIC’s capital has improved over 2020 and early 2021. The group now has an excess of capital above our ‘AAA’ benchmark in our risk-based model. We expect QIC to maintain this throughout 2021-2023 as the group is likely to experience low-to-no growth over the same period. QIC’s management took several steps to improve the group’s capital position in 2020-2021. The most important of these was raising $300 million in hybrid capital early in 2020, but the group also improved capital adequacy by de-risking its investment portfolio and choosing not to pay a dividend in respect of the 2020 year.

Download the Full 2021 S & P RatingsDirect_Research – English

Overview

Strengths

  • ‘AAA’ level risk-based capital adequacy, despite rapid growth and various acquisitions in recent years
  • A diversified premium base by geography, which supports a strong business position

Risks

  • Rapidly built significant exposure to the U.K. motor business, mainly through the Markerstudy group
  • Despite some positive momentum going into 2020 renewals, challenging pricing conditions across commercial insurance and reinsurance, in common with peers

S&P Global Ratings expects Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q.’s (QIC) capital adequacy and strong business position will remain key rating strengths. Over the next two years, we anticipate QIC will maintain risk-based capital adequacy (measured using our model) above our ‘AAA’ benchmark. Moreover, despite challenging pricing conditions in some of its main business lines, the group’s large-scale, diversified premium base by geography and ability to post good results support its competitive position. From a regulatory perspective, we expect the group to maintain its solvency ratio at reasonable levels (160%-170%) over the next 12 months.

QIC has a historically aggressive growth strategy through acquisitions and new business when compared with that of peers. Following years of material, double-digit business growth, gross written premiums (GWP) in 2018 grew by about 8%, reaching Qatari riyal (QAR) 12.6 billion. This is despite the nonrenewal of a significant portion of the business resulting from corrective actions over the past two years. The group replaced a material part of declining business with premium emanating through the acquisition of U.K.-based motor insurer Markerstudy (MS), which was completed in 2018. QIC’s robust capital levels mitigates the potential risks related rapid growth and concentration to the U.K. motor market.

Despite catastrophe-heavy years in 2017-2018, QIC remained profitable thanks to investment income.In 2018, QIC posted a net combined ratio of 101% (2017: 106%). This mainly followed technical losses at Qatar Re and Antares following a number of hurricanes and typhoons as well as the California wildfires. In addition, a major marine loss in Germany affected Antares. QIC also strengthened its reserves following the MS acquisition. Offsetting this technical performance, the group’s investment income resulted in net profits of QAR664 million (2017: QAR424 million). For the first nine months of 2019, gross premiums increased slightly to QAR9.8 billion from QAR9.5 billion for the same period in 2018, reflecting QIC’s continued focus to de-risk its book. The group posted a high combined ratio (101.5%) during this period partly driven by changes to the Ogden discount rate in the U.K. (excluding this, the combined ratio is 99.3%). Furthermore, the group’s results, in common with its peers, have been affected by provisions for catastrophe events, notably Faxai and Hagibis. Net income grew by slightly to QAR500 million (compared with QAR474 million for the same period in 2018).

Download the Full 2019 S & P RatingsDirect_Analysis – English

Download the Full 2019 S & P RatingsDirect_Research – English

Major Rating Factors

Strengths

  • ‘AAA’ level risk-based capital adequacy (measured using our model) despite rapid growth and various acquisitions
    over recent years.
  • Strong business position supported by scale, and diversified business portfolio by geography and product, support
    good operating performance.

Weaknesses

  • Rapidly built significant exposure to the U.K. motor business mainly through Markerstudy group.
  • Historically aggressive growth strategy through acquisitions and new business when compared to peers.
  • Exposure to the challenging pricing conditions in large commercial insurance and reinsurance business.

Rationale

Our ratings on QIC reflect its strong business and financial risk profiles. Supporting factors are the group’s scale,
diversified premium base (by geography and product), and ability to post good results. This is despite the challenging
pricing conditions in some of its main business lines. The group’s ‘AAA’ level risk-based capital (measured using our
model) somewhat mitigates its acquisitive nature and rapid premium growth through new business particularly in new
territories. The latter is demonstrated by the significant levels of U.K. business the group is writing through
Markerstudy (MS). Furthermore, the group acquired Gibraltar-based motor insurer MS’ four insurance entities.

Download the Full 2018 S & P RatingsDirect_Analysis – English

Rationale

Business Risk Profile: Strong

  • Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) is an established Qatari insurance group with a recognized brand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It has expanded rapidly in recent years outside its core territories, notably in the U.K. motor market and the reinsurance market.
  • Outside the motor business, QIC has a diverse product offering, including providing (re)insurance services in all sectors in its local markets, and a track record of good earnings.
  • It is exposed to the challenging pricing conditions in the global property/casualty (P/C) and reinsurance sectors, and U.K. motor business, although we expect it maintain its pricing discipline.

Financial Risk Profile: Strong

  • We expect risk-based capital likely to remain extremely strong thanks to a rights issue in 2016 and the hybrid issuance in 2017.
  • Favorable risk profile supported by fairly diversified and liquid investment portfolio and moderate level of catastrophe exposure relative to its robust capital.
  • Sufficient levels of financial flexibility demonstrated once again by the above-mentioned capital increase and hybrid issuance.

Other Factors

  • QIC’s ratings are not immediately affected after a group of governments–including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen–moved to cut diplomatic ties, as well as trade and transport links, with Qatar.
  • With a strong business risk profile and a strong financial risk profile, our anchor for the group could be either ‘a’ or ‘a-‘. We chose the higher anchor that results in a higher rating predominantly because, in our view, the group will retain the relative strength of its competitive position and its financial risk profile–notably strong capital and earnings.
  • We believe that enterprise risk management (ERM), management & governance, and liquidity support the rating.

Outlook: Stable

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that QIC’s capital and earnings will be strong and sufficient to support
its expansion plans over the next 24 months. We expect that QIC’s risk-based capital will be at least at very strong
levels through 2017-2018.

Downside scenario

We could lower the ratings over the next 24 months if:

  • There are signs that the group’s risk-based capital is likely to drop below ‘AA’ level. This could arise from a
    combination of weak earnings, excessive profit distribution, material growth or acquisitions.
  • We see a sustained weakening of its business profile through underperformance.
  • There is evidence of materially higher exposure to catastrophe or other highly volatile risks.

Upside scenario

Although highly unlikely over the next 24 months, we could consider raising the ratings if QIC demonstrated that it
could post strong combined ratios.

Download the Full 2017 S & P RatingsDirect_Analysis  English

Overview

  • The substantial level of gross premium growth in 2015 has weighed on
    Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q.’s (QIC or the group) risk-based capital, even after the successful capital injection in 2016.
  • However, we forecast that the group’s risk-based capital is likely to rebuild to very strong levels by year-end 2017 through retained earnings.
  • We are therefore affirming our ‘A’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on QIC.
  • The stable outlook reflects our expectation that QIC’s capital and earnings will be strong and sufficient to support its expansion plans over the next 24 months. We expect that QIC’s risk-based capital(measured using our model) will improve to very strong levels by 2017 through retained earnings.

Rating Action

On June 20, 2016, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ‘A’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) and its guaranteed subsidiaries (see ratings list). The outlook is stable.

Rationale

During 2015, the group’s gross premium increased by almost 50%, mostly due to key accounts relating to the U.K. motor business. This growth, coupled with the related increase in claims reserves, has weighed significantly on the group’s previously extremely strong risk-based capital (measured using our model). In recognition of the rapid growth and the group’s willingness to manage capital at solid levels, QIC increased its capital by about 25% during the first half of 2016 through a rights issue. While we recognize that this increase mitigated some of the pressure, we expect that QIC will retain sufficient earnings during 2016-2017, allowing it to rebuild its risk-based capital level to very strong from strong. At the same time, we anticipate that the business mix will stabilize and that net premium growth will be more modest.

The ratings reflect our view of QIC’s strong business and financial risk profiles. The combination of these factors results in an anchor of either ‘a’ or ‘a-‘. We have used an ‘a’ anchor because we consider that QIC’s strong business and financial risk profiles understate their contribution to its overall creditworthiness. The final rating is the same as the anchor, reflecting our view that the potential modifying factors–principally QIC’s
satisfactory management and governance, adequate enterprise risk management(ERM), and strong liquidity–are currently neutral for the ratings.

QIC’s strong business risk profile reflects its strong and diverse competitive position, supported by its dominant domestic position, its regional GCC operations, and the substantial reinsurance income stream–albeit with some concentration to the U.K. motor market. We believe the broad diversity of its product offerings and geographies are key supporting factors. We forecast that the group’s gross premium is likely to grow by about 10%-15% annually over 2016-17, partly driven by more new business from the U.K. motor market during 2016. While we recognize that the group has grown substantially in a challenging pricing environment, we expect that it will maintain its pricing discipline.

For 2016-2017, we forecast that QIC will deliver combined (loss and expense) ratios of just above 95%, as well as return on equity and return on revenue of 15% annually, largely supported by investment gains in line with previous years. Hence the group is likely to generate net profits of about Qatari riyal (QAR) 1 billion annually. We expect the group to retain sufficient earnings such that its risk-based capital builds to very strong levels. We recognize that the group has propensity for significant growth levels beyond what we believe can be reliably quantified, as demonstrated in 2015. Therefore our view of strong capital and earnings reflects this potential.

We have revised our view of the group’s liquidity to strong mostly because of the pledged assets within its investment portfolio. The group has sufficient liquidity because securely rated fixed-interest instruments and cash alone comfortably cover the net technical reserves.

Download the Full 2016 S & P Rating Research English

Download the Full 2016 S & P Rating Analysis English

Ratings On Qatar Insurance Co And Guaranteed Subsidiaries Affirmed At ‘A’ ; Outlook Stable
(19/7/2015; Doha, Qatar)

Rationale

Business Risk Profile: Strong

  • Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) is a very well-established Qatari insurance group with a strong shared brand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. It has a rapidly growing presence in global reinsurance markets and is becoming one of the most geographically and operationally diverse of the GCC insurers.
  • QIC has a diverse product offering servicing all sectors of the local markets and a track record of strong earnings from its mature GCC operations.
  • Its intermediate industry and country risk primarily reflects that of its material premium contribution from global property/casualty (P/C) reinsurance as well as its Qatari domicile.

Financial Risk Profile: Very Strong

  • Capital and earnings will continue to be very strong through the next two years of continued development, boosted by retained profits sufficient to support further organic premium growth.
  • The intermediate risk position reflects the weighting of investment exposure to regional equity markets and real estate, despite the diversified portfolio.
  • Adequate financial flexibility, with a demonstrated ability to access capital should internal funds generation be inadequate. We consider the shareholders, which include the government, to be fully supportive of QIC’s growth plans and financial requirements.

Other Factors

  • The combination of these factors gives an anchor of either ‘a+’ or ‘a’, according to our criteria. We have opted for the lower anchor, given execution risk associated with integrating and developing QIC’s reinsurance subsidiaries, in addition to earnings margin pressure in the GCC markets due to competitive pressures.
  • We consider enterprise risk management (ERM) and management and governance as neutral to the rating.
  • Liquidity is exceptional–there is a large pool of liquid assets, compared with potential stressed liquidity needs.

Outlook: Stable

The stable outlook reflects our view that QIC’s capital and earnings will continue to be very strong and sufficient to support its expansion plans. We expect that QIC’s financial strength will remain reinforced by extremely strong capital adequacy and stable positive earnings.

Upside scenario We could consider raising the ratings in the next two to three years if QIC successfully and sustainably assimilates its new business platforms, as seen in combined ratios sustainably outperforming the market average in international reinsurance.

Downside scenario, We consider a downgrade unlikely, but we could lower the ratings if we saw:

  • A material weakening of QIC’s capital and earnings to below strong. This could arise from poorly managed acquisitions or from material earnings deficits.
  • A sustained weakening of its business profile through underperformance at its domestic or reinsurance operations.
  • Evidence of materially higher exposure to catastrophe or other highly volatile risks, which would lead us to revise our assessment of the intermediate risk position.

Rating Action:

On Aug 19, 2015, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘A’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC). The outlook is stable.

To read the full analytical report for Qatar Insurance Company by Standard & Poor’s, please click on the link below to download the report in PDF format.

Download the Full 2015 S & P rating analysis English

Ratings On Qatar Insurance Co and Guaranteed Subsidiaries Affirmed At ‘A’; Outlook Stable
(3/07/2014; Doha, Qatar)

Overview:

  • We view Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) as an increasingly diversified insurance group with relatively mature operations in the still-growing Gulf Cooperation Council region, and with rapidly expanding reinsurance operations in Europe.
  • A substantial capital injection in 2013 to finance these new operational areas has materially reinforced its already very strong capitalization.
  • These factors are somewhat offset by the increasing complexity of the group’s operations, which heightens its risk profile and present integration challenges.
  • We are affirming our rating on QIC at ‘A’.
  • The stable outlook reflects our view that QIC’s franchise expansion will not weaken capitalization and earnings will remain favorably positive, in line with our base-case assumptions.

Rating Action:

On July 3, 2014, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘A’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC). The outlook is stable.

Download the Full 2014 S&P rating analysis icpdf English

Qatar Insurance Co and Guaranteed Subsidiaries Ratings Affirmed At ‘A’ after Insurance Criteria Change; Outlook Stable
(27/06/2013; Doha, Qatar)

Overview:

  • Following a review of the Qatar-based insurer Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC), under our revised insurance criteria, we are affirming our ‘A’ ratings on the company and its guaranteed subsidiaries, QLM, QICI, and Q-Re.
  • The ratings reflect QIC’s strong business risk profile, and its very strong financial risk profile. These assessments principally derive from our view of QIC’s strong competitive position and very strong capital and earnings.
  • The stable outlook on the ratings reflects our view that QIC’s business and financial risk profiles will remain unchanged over the next two years.

Rating Action:

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘A’ insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Qatar-based multiline insurer Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) and its guaranteed subsidiaries, QLife & Medical Insurance Company LLC (QLM), QIC International LLC (QICI), and Q-Re LLC. The outlook on all entities is stable.

Download the Full 2013 S&P rating analysis English

Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q.
(13/09/2012; Doha, Qatar)

The ratings on Qatar-based insurer, Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC; A/Stable/–), and its guaranteed subsidiaries QIC International LLC, Q-Re LLC and Q Life & Medical Insurance Company LLC, reflect the group’s very strong capitalization, strong liquidity, and strong competitive position. These strengths are partially offset by the execution risks entailed in expanding the operations across the GCC region and beyond, and to some extent the locally concentrated investment portfolio. Though weaker in 2011, earnings remain strong and contribute positively to the rating.

Download the Full 2012 S&P rating analysis English

Qatar Insurance Co. Upgraded To ‘A’ On Continually Strong Competitive Position; Outlook Stable

(09/08/2010; Doha, Qatar)

QIC’s competitive position is strong. The company is strong in its domestic market, with a market share of around 50%. Since inception, QIC has posted profitable results. During the past three years, the net combined ratio has averaged around 84%. QIC’s international operations continue to increase the amount they contribute to the overall business; in 2009 international net premiums written (NPW) were around QAR619 million (2008: QAR491 million), with a net underwriting result of QAR165 million (2008: QAR133 million). This compares to QAR516 million (2008, QAR483 million) NPW from domestic operations, with a net underwriting result of QAR230 million (2008, QAR173 million). Retention now stands at 53% compared to 31% in 2005 and has generally increased across all lines, although the highest retentions continue to be for retail and lower-severity products.

Prospective:

Over the next two years, Standard & Poor’s expects a relatively low level of gross premium growth in line with 2009’s results, although premiums from QIC’s international operations is expected to exceed 50% in 2010. Net retention of premium is also expected to continue its gradual rise and the combined ratio is expected remain stable at around 85%.

Download the Full 2010 S&P rating analysis English

Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. ‘A’ Long-Term Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Stable
(28/05/2009; Doha, Qatar)

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘A’ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Doha-based Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC). The outlook is stable. The company, like its peers, has not been immune to the deterioration in global investment markets and the global and regional macro-economic downturn.

Download the Full 2009 S&P rating analysis English

Qatar Insurance Co. Upgraded To ‘A’ On Continually Strong Competitive Position; Outlook Stable
(16/02/2006; Doha, Qatar)

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today it raised its long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Qatar-based underwriter Qatar Insurance Co. S.A.Q. (QIC) to ‘A’ from ‘A-‘. The outlook is stable.

“The upgrade is driven by QIC’s continuing dominance of the local market, as well as its growing presence across the Gulf Cooperation Council region and the resultant earnings potential for the company,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Jelena Bjelanovic.

The ratings on QIC reflect the company’s extremely strong capital adequacy, strong and established competitive position, and very strong operating performance. These factors are partially offset by the potential for adverse operational volatility, QIC’s very high reliance on reinsurance protection in certain lines of business, and the heavy local concentration of its investment portfolio.

The outlook on QIC is stable, reflecting our expectations that:

  • QIC’s income stream will further diversify in 2006, both within the Gulf Cooperation Council region (through local branches and subsidiaries) and within the business lines it underwrites in Qatar.
  • Underwriting profitability will not deteriorate from the currently very strong level, and, in particular, underwriting at all current branches and subsidiaries should remain profitable.
  • Reinsurance utilization will remain substantial but gradually decrease, as QIC’s internal risk management expertise continues to build and the company continues to slowly move away from the fee-based, high-economic-value energy risks.
  • QIC will maintain a locally focused investment portfolio, although concentration risk will marginally improve year on year.
  • The outlook does not take into account the impact of any potential M&A.

Download the Full 2006 S&P rating analysis English

A.M. Best Ratings

Rating Rationale:

Balance Sheet Strength: Very Strong

  • The balance sheet strength of Qatar Insurance Company Q.S.P.C. (QIC) is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supported by good financial flexibility, a conservative investment portfolio by asset class and low reinsurance dependence.
  • The group has demonstrated good financial flexibility, with access to both equity and debt markets.
  • The group is developing, but currently lacks, a consistent enterprise-wide approach to reserving. Reserves are held at best estimate, with limited buffers to absorb volatility.
  • While assets are concentrated towards Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, there is significant exposure to countries with lower financial system and economic risk in the group’s investment portfolio. The majority of the group’s business is sourced from countries which AM Best considers to have low country risk.

Operating Performance: Strong

  • Despite poor technical results, investment returns and the successful IPO of former subsidiary QLM Life & Medical Insurance Company Q.P.S.C. (QLM) have helped the group achieve a five-year (2016-2020) average return on equity of 7%. The group’s investment strategy drives sustainable investment returns.
  • Technical results have been poor in recent years, with a five-year (2016-2020) average combined ratio of 104%. Over this period, the group has been negatively impacted by natural catastrophe losses and one-offs such as changes in the Ogden discount rate and COVID-19-related losses.
  • Investment returns remain an important source of income, with a five-year (2016-2020) average investment yield of 3% and consistent contributions from capital gains. The group utilises operational leverage to take advantage of interest rate arbitrage opportunities.
  • The group has taken actions to improve its underwriting performance, which are expected to begin to earn through. These include significantly reduced exposure to large losses and catastrophes in recent underwriting years due to portfolio trimming and remedial actions on the group’s UK motor portfolio.

Business Profile: Neutral

  • Geographically well-diversified group, with insurance operations in the Middle East (regional) and multi-channel international platforms under the QIC Global brand including a Bermuda-domiciled reinsurer (Qatar Re), a Lloyd’s platform (Antares) and carriers in Malta and Gibraltar.
  • QIC’s regional business generated nearly 20% of gross written premiums (GWP) in 2020, around half of which was sourced in Qatar where the group has a dominant competitive position. With regard to GWP, 38% was sourced from the UK, 23% from the Americas (mainly North America), 16% from Europe and 4% from Asia and Oceania.
  • The business mix has been volatile in recent years, with a growing focus on motor insurance. Motor contributed more around half of the group’s GWP in 2020, driven in part by the acquisition of historical Co-Op insurance business by the MarkerStudy group.

Enterprise Risk Management: Appropriate

  • Enterprise risk management (ERM) is considered appropriate. However, volatile technical performance, regulatory solvency breaches in subsidiaries and frequent changes in underwriting strategy have highlighted weaknesses.
  • Management is continuing its efforts to harmonise risk management across the group; however, silos exist at the entity level. QIC is in the process of rolling out a group-wide internal model.
  • Continued development of its ERM will be crucial to support the group’s diverse operations while maintaining appropriate controls and governance over key risks.

Outlook

  • The negative outlooks reflect concerns around QIC’s operating performance, which stem from poor underwriting returns from QIC Global (QIC’s international business outside of the MENA region). This places pressure on AM Best’s current operating performance assessment of strong.

Rating Drivers

  • Negative rating actions could occur if the group’s underwriting performance does not improve significantly from levels seen in recent years.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a lack of material progress towards a consistent, group-wide approach to ERM.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a material reduction in the risk-adjusted capitalisation of the group.

To read the full document, click here

Rating Rationale:

Balance Sheet Strength: Very Strong

  • Balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supported by good financial flexibility, a conservative investment portfolio and low reinsurance dependence.
  • The group is developing, but currently lacks, a consistent enterprise-wide approach to reserving. Reserves are held at best estimate, with limited buffers to absorb volatility.
  • The investment portfolio is considered to be well managed, but assets are concentrated towards Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Operating Performance: Strong

  • Technical results have been poor in recent years, with a five-year (2015-2019) average combined ratio of 102%. Over this period, the group has been negatively impacted by natural catastrophe losses and changes in the Ogden discount rate.
  • Despite poor underwriting earnings in recent years, investment returns have helped the group achieve a five-year (2015-2019) average return on equity of 10%.
  • At 30 September 2020, the group had incurred COVID-19-related losses of USD 103.7 million, leading to an overall combined ratio of around 108%. Underwriting results are forecast to improve to profitability in 2021, driven mainly by profitable growth in UK motor and London Market businesses.
  • Investment returns remain an important source of income, with a five-year (2015-2019) average investment yield (including gains) of 4.3%. The group utilises operational leverage to take advantage of interest rate arbitrage opportunities.

Business Profile: Neutral

  • Geographically well-diversified group, with insurance operations in the Middle East (Regional) and multi-channel international platforms under the QIC Global brand.
  • The group maintains a dominant competitive position in its domestic Qatari market, augmented by a good position in the UAE.
  • QIC Global consolidates the group’s international reinsurance operations in Bermuda, its Lloyd’s platform Antares and primary carriers in Europe.
  • The business mix has been volatile in recent years, with a growing focus on motor insurance. Motor now contributes around half of gross written premium. The acquisition of the Markerstudy insurance carriers during 2018 provides the group with a material footprint in the UK motor insurance market, which is set to expand with the acquisition of the Co-Op insurance MGAs by Markerstudy.
  • A number of the group’s strategies outside of Qatar are not fully mature, driven by the group’s evolving plans for its international business, meaning execution risk in the profitable growth of international business remains.

Enterprise Risk Management: Appropriate

  • Enterprise risk management (ERM) is considered appropriate. However, volatile technical performance and frequent changes in underwriting strategy have highlighted weaknesses, which management has been addressing.
  • ERM is being further developed and refined across the board by the group to ensure that its ERM processes coherently reflect the risks of the group; in particular, good progress has been made on accumulation monitoring and control. QIC is working on a group-wide capital model.
  • Continued development of its ERM will be crucial to support the group’s diverse operations while maintaining appropriate controls and governance over key risks.

Outlook

  • The negative outlooks reflect concerns around QIC’s operating performance, which stem from poor underwriting returns from QIC Global (QIC’s international business outside of the MENA region). This places pressure on AM Best’s current operating performance assessment of strong.

Rating Drivers

  • Negative rating actions could occur if the group’s underwriting performance does not improve significantly from levels seen in recent years.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a lack of material progress towards a consistent, group-wide approach to ERM.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a material reduction in the risk-adjusted capitalisation of the group.

To read the full document, click here

Rating Rationale:

Balance Sheet Strength: Very Strong

  • Balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), supported by good financial flexibility, a conservative investment portfolio and low reinsurance dependence.
  • Group currently lacks a consistent, enterprise-wide approach to reserving. Reserves are held at best estimate, with limited buffers to absorb volatility.
  • The investment portfolio is considered to be well managed but is concentrated in assets in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

Operating Performance: Strong

  • Despite poor underwriting earnings arising from its international operations in recent years, investment returns have helped the group achieve a five-year (2014-2018) average return on equity of 11.5%.
  • Group generates excellent technical results from its insurance operations in the Middle East region; however, these are more than offset by its international business units, which have consistently produced losses. Poor results are driven by the group’s aggressive growth in soft market cycles. Additionally, the group has been impacted by natural catastrophe losses and changes in the Ogden rate. As such, the five-year (2014-2018) average combined ratio stands at 101.2%.
  • Investment returns remain an important source of income for Qatar Insurance Company Q.S.P.C. (QIC), with a five-year (2014 – 2018) average investment yield (including gains) of 4.8%. The company utilises operational leverage to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities.

Business Profile: Neutral

  • Geographically well-diversified group, with insurance operations in the Middle East (Regional) and mutli-channel international platforms under the QIC Global brand.
  • The group maintains a dominant competitive position in its domestic Qatari market, augmented by a good position in the United Arab Emirates.
  • QIC Global consolidates the group’s international reinsurance operations in Bermuda, Lloyd’s platform, as well as primary carriers in Europe.
  • The business mix has been volatile in recent years, with the focus now shifting to motor insurance. Motor insurance now contributes around half of gross written premium. The acquisition of the Markerstudy insurance carriers during 2018 provides the group with a material footprint in the UK motor insurance market.
  • Execution risk remains considerable, driven by the group’s ever-evolving strategies for its international operations.

Enterprise Risk Management: Appropriate

  • Enterprise risk management (ERM) is considered appropriate. However, volatility in underwriting strategies and returns indicates the senior management’s appreciation of its risk exposures requires further refinement.
  • ERM is being further developed and refined across the board by the company to ensure that its ERM processes coherently reflect the risks of the group; in particular, good progress has been made on accumulation monitoring and control. Work on group risk registers and a group capital model has been slower than expected.
  • Continued development of its ERM will be crucial to support the company’s growth plans whilst maintaining appropriate controls and governance over key risks.

Outlook

  • The negative outlooks reflect concerns around QIC’s operating performance, which stems from poor underwriting returns from QIC Global. This has placed pressure on AM Best’s current operating performance assessment of strong.

Rating Drivers

  • Positive rating pressure is unlikely, but a revision of the outlook back to stable could arise from a profitable stablisation of the group’s technical ratios, concurrent with improvements in its ERM capabilities.
  • Negative rating pressure could occur from an absence of improvement in the group’s underwriting returns.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a lack of material progress towards a consistent, group-wide approach to ERM.
  • Negative rating pressure may also arise at the subsidiary level from a reduction in its strategic importance to the group or a decline in the level of explicit and implicit support provided to it by the group.

To read the full document, click here

Rating Rationale:

Balance Sheet Strength: Very Strong

  • Balance sheet strength is supported by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, excellent financial flexibility, a diversified investment portfolio and low reinsurance dependence.
  • Partly offsetting this are the potential volatility due to the rapid growth of the company’s reinsurance arm over recent years in a soft market; inorganic growth via acquisitions which is associated with execution risk.
  • The investment portfolio is considered to be well managed. The overall risk profile of the portfolio has been improving; despite this, there remains a concentration of assets in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
  • A.M. Best expects strong internal capital generation and long-term capital support from shareholders to continue to support Qatar Insurance Company’s (QIC) strategic plans and maintain a robust level of risk-adjusted capitalisation.

Operating Performance: Strong

  • Strong operating profits in each of the past five years, with a five-year (2013-2017) average return on equity of 12.8%.
  • Underwriting performance has exhibited some volatility over the past five years, with an average combined ratio close to 100%, which included the catastrophe losses and changes to the Ogden rate during 2017. Underwriting performance in 2018 is expected to be in line with the five-year average.
  • Investment returns remain an important source of income for QIC. The company utilises operational leverage to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, and during 2017, the company reported an investment yield (including gains) of 4.7%, slightly below the fiveyear average of 5.3%.

Business Profile: Neutral

  • QIC has one of the most diverse insurance operations amongst Middle East companies offering both insurance cover within the GCC countries and global reinsurance coverage through a multi-channel distribution network.
  • QIC has a dominant competitive position in its domestic market, a good position in the UAE insurance market and a global top-50 reinsurance company with a worldwide portfolio.
  • Diversification is added by a Lloyd’s platform and a Maltese subsidiary to accept European Economic Area (EEA) risks. The acquisition of the Markerstudy insurance carriers during 2018 has added to the Group’s European market exposure.
  • QIC’s profile is partially mitigated by the rapid expansion of its reinsurance arm, which has execution risk in a highly competitive reinsurance market.

Enterprise Risk Management: Appropriate

  • Enterprise risk management (ERM) is appropriate given the size and complexity of its operations. The company has a good ERM framework in place, and in A.M. Best’s opinion, the culture of the company is becoming more risk aware.
  • ERM is being further developed and refined across the board by the company to ensure that its ERM processes coherently reflect the risks of the Group; in particular, good progress has been made on accumulation monitoring and control.
  • Continued development of its ERM will be crucial to support the company’s growth plans whilst maintaining appropriate controls and governance over key risks.

Outlook

  • The stable outlooks reflect the expectation that the company’s rating fundamentals will remain unchanged over the medium term. The company’s balance sheet strength is expected to remain very strong, along with strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM.

Rating Drivers

  • Positive rating pressure could arise from material improvements in the company’s business profile whilst generating strong underwriting results.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a prolonged deterioration in underwriting performance and overall operating performance.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a lack of development of the company’s ERM capabilities, in order to mitigate existing and evolving risks.
  • Negative rating pressure may also arise at the subsidiary level from a reduction in their strategic importance to the Group or a decline in the level of explicit and implicit support provided to them by the Group.

To read the full document, click here

Rating Rationale:

Balance Sheet Strength: Very Strong

  • Balance sheet strength is supported by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, excellent financial flexibility, a diversified investment portfolio and low reinsurance dependence.
  • Partly offsetting this are the potential volatility due to the rapid growth of the company’s reinsurance arm over recent years in a soft market, inorganic growth via acquisitions and the concentration of assets in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
  • A.M. Best expects strong internal capital generation and long-term capital support from shareholders to continue to underpin Qatar Insurance Company’s (QIC) risk-adjusted capitalisation.

Operating Performance: Strong

  • Strong operating profits in each of the past five years, with a five-year (2012-2016) average return on equity of 15.4%.
  • Underwriting performance has exhibited some volatility over the past five years, with an average combined ratio of 97.6%. During the first three quarters of 2017, the combined ratio has been negatively impacted by North American hurricane losses as well as the Ogden rate change in the UK, leading to an increased loss ratio in excess of 75% compared to a five-year (2012-2016) average of 67.4%.
  • Operating performance continued to be supported by strong investment returns, with a five-year (2012-2016) investment yield of 3.4%.

Business Profile: Neutral

  • QIC has one of the most diverse insurance operations amongst Middle East companies offering both insurance cover within the GCC countries and global reinsurance coverage through a multi-channel distribution network.
  • QIC has a dominant competitive position in its domestic market, a good position in the UAE insurance market and a global top-50 reinsurance company with a world-wide portfolio.
  • Diversification is added by a Lloyd’s platform and a Maltese subsidiary to accept EEA risks.
  • QIC’s profile is partially mitigated by the rapid expansion of its reinsurance arm which has significant execution risk in a highly competitive reinsurance market.

Enterprise Risk Management: Appropriate

  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is appropriate given the size and complexity of its operations.
  • ERM is being further developed and refined across the board by the company to ensure that it better reflects the substantial risk profile and intricacy of operations that it faces.
  • Continued development of its ERM will be crucial to support the company’s growth plans, while maintaining appropriate controls and governance over key risks.

Outlook

  • The stable outlooks reflect the expectation that the company’s rating fundamentals will remain unchanged over the medium term.
  • The company’s balance sheet strength is expected to remain very strong, along with strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM.

Rating Drivers

  • Positive rating pressure could arise from continued improvement and stability in the company’s balance sheet strength.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from a prolonged deterioration in underwriting performance or significant investment losses.
  • Negative rating pressure could arise from failure to continue to improve ERM to fully reflect the company’s risk profile.
  • Negative rating pressure may also arise at subsidiary level from a reduction in their strategic importance to the Group or a decline in the level of explicit and implicit support provided to them by the Group.

To read the full document, click here

A.M. Best Comments on Ratings of Qatar Ins. Co. S.A.Q. & Its Main Subsidiaries Following Acquisition of Antares Holdings Ltd
(09/07/2014; London, UK)

A.M. Best has commented that the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a” of Qatar Insurance Company S.A.Q. (QIC) (Qatar) and its main subsidiaries remain unchanged following QIC’s acquisition of Antares Holdings Limited (Antares). A.M. Best will closely monitor QIC’s capital position and operating performance following this strategic transaction and the high level of growth anticipated within its reinsurance subsidiary.

The acquisition of Antares is in line with QIC’s strategy to build an international, diversified insurance group. The acquisition provides QIC with greater diversification geographically and by line of business. Antares is a specialist insurance and reinsurance group operating in the Lloyd’s market, writing GBP 224 million (USD 384 million) of premium revenue, translating into approximately 40% of QIC’s profile at year-end 2013. Antares underwrites business through Lloyd’s Syndicate 1274, using its integrated managing agency, and it has a Bermudian platform with a Class 3 reinsurance license. QIC is expected to achieve year-on-year gross premium growth of 64% in 2014 due to the acquisition of Antares and with the expansion of its existing reinsurance subsidiary, Qatar Reinsurance Company LLC.

QIC’s strong risk-adjusted capitalisation has enabled it to fund the acquisition internally, while maintaining sufficient capital adequacy for the current rating level. Given the robust profitability of Antares’ and QIC’s direct domestic and international operations, QIC is expected to be able to grow its capital organically to support prospective growth.

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.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009, the following is a link to required disclosures:A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited Supplementary Disclosure.

This rating announcement has been issued by A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited, which is a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company. A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Qatar Insurance Company S.A.Q. and Its Main Subsidiaries
(04/12/2014; London, UK)

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings of “a” of Qatar Insurance Company S.A.Q. (QIC) and its main subsidiaries: QIC International LLC (QICI) and Qatar Reinsurance Company LLC (Qatar Re). The outlook for all ratings remains stable. All companies are domiciled in Qatar.

The ratings for QIC reflect its very strong risk-adjusted capitalisation, robust underwriting performance and global business diversification. Offsetting rating factors are QIC’s concentration in Qatari equities and the execution risk associated with the rapid growth of group, particularly within its reinsurance arm.

QIC’s risk-adjusted capitalisation remains very strong, despite considerable additional capital requirements created by the acquisition of Antares Holdings Limited (Antares) and the rapid expansion of Qatar Re. Prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain strong, benefiting from a high level of internal capital generation. Additionally, QIC’s supportive shareholders provide the company with good financial flexibility.

The company has a strong track record of operational performance, with a 5-year weighted average return on equity of 17.4%. Underwriting performance remained robust in 2013, with a combined ratio of 93%, which reflected very strong results in QIC’s domestic market. However, performance was dampened by unfavourable reserve developments on losses in prior underwriting years and the high costs of expansion at Qatar Re. QIC’s profit for the year was QAR 778 million (USD 214 million), although profitability remains heavily weighted toward investment income. In the first three quarters of 2014, QIC generated an operating profit of QAR 801 million (USD 220 million) at a combined ratio of 97%.

The acquisition of Antares and expansion of Qatar Re during 2014 has produced year-on-year growth of in excess of 50%, and gross written premium for the year is expected to reach QAR 5.8 billion (USD 1.6 billion). QIC enjoys a dominant position in the Qatari market and has a global reach, with 73% of gross premiums emanating from abroad. Through QICI, QIC has a sound position in the United Arab Emirates market, and Antares gives the group access to a portfolio of marine, casualty and aviation business written through Lloyd’s.

The rapid expansion of Qatar Re continues to represent material execution risk. However, QIC has made significant improvements in group-wide risk management, incorporating capital modeling into strategic decisions and bolstering catastrophe modeling and actuarial capabilities.

The ratings for QICI and Qatar Re incorporate a strong level of support from QIC, as evidenced by a guarantee provided to both companies, as well as capital injections and an internal quota share arrangement to support business written at Qatar Re.

Upward rating actions are unlikely in the near term. Negative rating pressure could arise if either QIC or Qatar Re is unable to meet their strategic objectives, or if there is change in the level of rating enhancement provided to the subsidiaries.

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 utilised:

  • Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings
  • Evaluating Country Risk
  • Rating Members of Insurance Groups
  • Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies
  • 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 A.M. Best’s Ratings & Criteria Center.

Best’s Rating of A (Excellent); Financial Size Category of XI ($750 Million to $1 Billion)
(06/12/2013; London, UK)

Best’s Credit Ratings
Best’s Financial Strength Rating: A Outlook: Stable
Best’s Issuer Credit Rating: A Outlook: Stable

Rating Rationale:

The ratings for Qatar Insurance Company SAQ (QIC) reflect its excellent prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation supported by strong financial flexibility, robust underwriting performance and strong business diversification. Offsetting rating factors are QIC’s concentration in Qatari equities, the ongoing development of enterprise risk management (ERM) to support the company’s expansion and the execution risk associated with Q-Re LLC (Q-Re).

The ratings for Qatar International LLC (QICI) and Q-Re incorporate a strong level of support from its parent, QIC. QIC provides a parental guarantee to both companies and has supported Q-Re through capital injections of QAR 146 million in 2012 and QAR 182 million in 2013, with a further QAR 182 million expected in 2014. The international businesses and their growth are central to QIC’s overall strategy as well as integrated into the group through shared management and dependence on shared asset management, IT and audit functions. The group also provides internal reinsurance to its subsidiaries.

Download the Full 2013 Best’s Credit Report English

A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited has assigned a financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings of “a” to Qatar Insurance Co SAQ (QIC), QIC International LLC (QICI), and Q-Re LLC (Q-Re).
(26/11/2013; London, UK)

The outlook for all ratings is stable. All companies are domiciled in Qatar.

The ratings for QIC reflect its excellent prospective risk-adjusted capitalization supported by good financial flexibility, robust underwriting performance and strong business diversification. Offsetting rating factors are QIC’s concentration in Qatari equities, the developing state of the company’s enterprise risk management (ERM) systems to support the company’s expansion and the execution risk of the Q-Re expansion plan.

The ratings for QICI and Q-Re incorporate a strong level of support from QIC as evidenced by a parental guarantee provided over both of these companies, capital injections to support business written at Q-Re, importance of the international businesses to QIC’s overall strategy and integration into the overall group

Download the Full 2012 Best’s Credit Report English