COVID-19: Capital strength will save insurers, S&P contends

Insurers' capital strength may save the sector as it faces off the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will not spare them all from downgrades as the coming weeks reveal other, prior weaknesses.

This is according to S&P Global Ratings, whose analysts believes general insurance to be better placed than life, which is more likely suffer from its exposure to ongoing financial market volatility.

"Currently, the average rating across the industry is 'A', the highest average rating for any corporate or financial services industry we rate. As with other investment-grade issuers, we don't anticipate widespread downgrades across the industry," the ratings firm stated.

"Nevertheless, some ratings will be affected. To date, we have downgraded one insurer and placed two insurance ratings on a negative outlook or CreditWatch. In each case, the implications of COVID-19 had compounded other factors, causing creditworthiness to deteriorate."

S&P forecasts a global recession in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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