Ratings review expected, says Sagicor

International
insurance rater A.M. Best Co. announced this week that it had placed the A-
(Excellent) rating of Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd. under review with
negative implications.

However
the insurer believes the rating review will be short-lived, according to
Michael Gayle, Sagicor General’s senior vice president – property and casualty.

 “It is our understanding that this course of
action is expected where there is a change of ownership,” he said. “When the
transaction has been completed, the position will be re-assessed and we are
confident that the ratings will be reaffirmed.”

Sagicor
Life Jamaica Limited announced it had sold its 75.2 per cent share in the
general insurance company to Bahamas First Holdings Limited.

The
Cayman Islands Government retains a 24-per cent stake in the company, which it
acquired as part of a negotiated settlement of its Hurricane Ivan damage claim
with Cayman General Insurance.  Cayman
General changed its name to Sagicor General after the latter bought a
controlling interest in the company in 2005.

Mr.
Gayle said last week there would be an announcement concerning the new name of
the insurer in the next couple of weeks.

Sagicor
has maintained ownership in a separate life insurance entity in the Cayman
Islands and the A.M. Best rating review isn’t applicable to that company.

A.M.
Best said Sagicor General’s rating will remain under review pending the closing
of the transaction and A.M. Best’s discussion with Bahamas First Holdings management
regarding its strategic plans for Sagicor Cayman and its future role within the
BFH group.

Mr.
Gayle indicated last week that the insurer intends to conduct “business as usual”
going forward.

BUZSagicorSTORY

Mr. Gayle
Photo: Submitted
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