News Column

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Health Services Welfare Society Limited

May 30, 2014



HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A.M. Besthas assigned a financial strength rating of B (Fair) and issuer credit rating of “bb+” to Health Services Welfare Society Limited (New Zealand). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

Established in 1971, Health Services Welfare Society Limited, trading as Accuro Health Insurance (Accuro), is a not-for-profit, limited liability society in New Zealand. Its principal activity is to provide sickness, accident, hospital, surgical, specialists, medical benefits and bereavement grants to its members.

The ratings reflect Accuro’s good business profile in the retail medical insurance sector of New Zealand, favorable growth and experience of its on-sale products (launched since 2010), as well as its low investment risk profile.

Partially offsetting these positive factors are the high underwriting leverage and less favorable experience of its legacy products.

Accuro's premium earned was in excess of four time surplus, which makes capitalization very sensitive to higher-than-expected claim severity or frequency. Despite the favorable experience of its on-sale products, the company's legacy products, which represented over half of overall premium earned, consistently reported high claim ratios.

An upgrading of the company’s ratings is unlikely in the short to medium term until it can demonstrate a solid track record of positive underwriting results. Meanwhile, any significant adverse changes to its industry environment or continued underwriting losses could lead to a downgrading of its ratings.

The methodology used in determining these interactive 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.

Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication, and unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.

This rating announcement has been issued by A.M. Best Asia-Pacific 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. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.





A.M. Best

Jason Shum, 852-2827-3430

Financial Analyst

jason.shum@ambest.com

or

Ken Chow, 852-2827-3426

Senior Financial Analyst

ken.chow@ambest.com

or

Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644

Assistant Vice President, Public Relations

james.peavy@ambest.com

Source: A.M. Best Company


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