Market Overview

A.M. Best Upgrades Issuer Credit Rating of Worldwide Medical Assurance, Ltd. Corp.


A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating
(Long-Term ICR) to "bbb+" from "bbb" and affirmed the Financial Strength
Rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) of Worldwide Medical Assurance, Ltd. Corp. (WWMA)
(Panama City, Panama). The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been
revised to stable from positive, while the outlook for the FSR remains

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect WWMA's balance sheet strength,
which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong
operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate
enterprise risk management (ERM).

The upgrade of the Long-Term ICR reflects WWMA's sustained strong
operating performance supported by sound underwriting practices and a
conservative investment strategy, as well as balance sheet strength
underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalization maintained at the strongest
level, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The ratings
also recognize WWMA's successful gradual expansion into other Latin
American markets. These strengths are offset by the company's dependence
on its reinsurance counterparties to implement its growth targets and
the highly competitive landscape in Latin America's health and life
insurance segments.

The company began operations in 1999 and has since grown successfully in
its niche market, providing insurance for clients traveling overseas to
receive medical attention. This is done through a mix of brokers,
bancassurance and direct distribution channels. WWMA benefits from its
partial ownership by KfW DEG, the German development bank, through its
holding company, Worldwide Group, Inc. WWMA's model of optimizing the
selection of medical care providers with support of highly rated
reinsurance counterparties also have provided benefits. In recent years,
WWMA has expanded operations into other Latin American markets such as
Guatemala, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Historically, WWMA has maintained positive capital-creation capacity,
which along with a conservative strategy of reinvesting profits, has
contributed to its sound risk-adjusted capitalization. Capital
management is strengthened further by the use and development of WWMA's
economic capital model, ERM practices and improved diversification among
highly rated reinsurers in 2018.

WWMA's strong underwriting, risk retention and stringent expense
practices translate into strong premium sufficiency metrics. Moreover,
WWMA's synergies with its sister company in the Dominican Republic have
optimized the company´s underwriting. These measures, combined with
stable financial products, have resulted in improved profitability
indicators, such as return on equity and return on assets, which were
21.9% and 8.4%, respectively, at year-end 2017. A.M. Best expects this
trend to continue in the near to medium term.

Factors that could lead to positive rating actions include sustained
stable operating performance, successful consolidation of company
operations in targeted locations and maintaining diversification among
highly rated reinsurers. Negative rating actions are not expected in the
short term, unless significant changes in the company's strategy damage
its income-generating profile or if there is material deterioration of
current capital adequacy.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings 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 see A.M. Best's
Rating Activity
web page. For additional information
regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view
Best's Credit Ratings
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