The credit ratings of R&Q Insurance Holdings and its rated subsidiaries have been placed under review with negative implications, following the group’s revelation that its board is looking at strategic options to separate R&Q’s program management and legacy insurance businesses.
In an announcement by AM Best, the rating agency said: “AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the financial strength rating of A- (excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings (long-term ICR) of ‘a-‘ (excellent) of Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc. (ASC), Accredited Specialty Insurance Company (ASI), and Accredited Insurance (Europe) Limited (AIEL).
“Concurrently, AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the long-term ICR of ‘BBB-’ (good) of R&Q Insurance Holdings Ltd, the non-operating holding company of the group. ASC, ASI, and AIEL are wholly owned subsidiaries of R&Q.”
According to AM Best, it had previously considered the abovementioned Accredited firms to be strategically important to the group and it will now examine the impact of the planned split on their rating fundamentals.
The credit rating agency added: “The expected operating loss for 2022, driven by R&Q’s legacy operations, will likely lead to a material weakening of the group’s risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio.
“The ratings are expected to remain under review until AM Best has sufficient clarity over the rating fundamentals of the Accredited companies and the R&Q group, after their likely separation. It is considered probable that, shortly, the Accredited companies will form an independent rating unit, separate from R&Q.”
Meanwhile, AM Best believes that R&Q has a very strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, a neutral business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management.
William Spiegel, R&Q’s chief executive who was executive chair beforehand, said they are looking to ensure that both the program management and legacy insurance businesses have the strongest foundations from which to grow.