By , Published 18th February, 2019.
Sovereign Assurance Company Limited (Sovereign) has had its financial strength reaffirmed by the ratings agency AM Best.
The agency awarded Sovereign an A+ (Superior) rating for the 10th consecutive year.
At the same time, AM Best removed Sovereign’s ‘review with developing implications’ status − which it applied in anticipation of AIA Group’s purchase of Sovereign, which was completed in July 2018 − and also gave Sovereign a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of ‘aa-.’
AM Best assigned a stable outlook to these credit ratings.
“An insurer’s financial rating is a direct reflection of its ability to pay claims. Sovereign’s A+ rating, combined with the fact that AIA Group is one of the largest life insurers in the world, gives our customers the certainty they want that we will be able to honour our commitment to them,” says Linda Page, Sovereign’s Chief Financial Officer.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, Sovereign paid $388 million in claims.
In a media release announcing its decision, AM Best said that:
“The ratings reflect Sovereign’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. In addition, Sovereign benefits from rating enhancement from AIA.”
Sovereign will begin operating under the AIA brand during 2019.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best is considered one of the world’s most authoritative insurance ratings agencies.
For more details contact Craig Glover, Head of Corporate Affairs and External Communications, on 027 275 3405.
About AIA and Sovereign:
In New Zealand, AIA and Sovereign together employ almost 900 people. Since AIA arrived in New Zealand in 1981, it has consistently provided the market with innovative personal and business insurance products that suit the Kiwi way of life. In July 2018, the AIA Group acquired Sovereign, becoming the largest life insurer in New Zealand. AIA and Sovereign offer a complete range of risk management products that focus on the needs of customers. The companies are both based in Auckland, with regional offices in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. Both companies are members of the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme and the Health Funds Association of New Zealand. AIA has an insurer financial strength rating from Standard and Poor’s of AA-. Sovereign has a rating of A+, from AM Best.
About AIA Group
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or the “Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, Cambodia, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and a representative office in Myanmar.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago in 1919. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$221 billion as of 30 June 2018.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of 32 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code “1299” with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: “AAGIY”).