New Zealand-owned Delta Insurance Group says earning a performance assessment of PA-2 Excellent from AM Best, the world’s largest insurance business rating organisation based in New Jersey, will be “a game-changer”.

Delta is the first Managing General Agent (MGA) in New Zealand and Asia Pacific to be assessed, with the Best’s Performance Assessment for Delegated Underwriting Authority Enterprises covering three of the Delta Insurance Group companies – Delta Insurance New Zealand Limited, Delta Underwriting Singapore Private Limited, and Delta Property Insurance Limited, assessed on a consolidated basis under their parent, Delta International Limited.

Delta Group Chief Operating Officer Kent Chaplin says the assessment process has been “as robust and rigorous as you can get.  But the outcome – having received an ‘Excellent’ assessment at our first go – will be a game-changer for us in the New Zealand and our international markets. It’s a mark not just of financial strength but also professionalism, governance, the quality of our people and the relationships we’ve formed.”

The process was a comprehensive assessment of five areas of the companies’ operations: underwriting capabilities; governance and internal controls; financial condition; organisational talent; and depth and breadth of relationships.

AM Best has five categories of performance assessment: Exceptional, Excellent, Strong, Fair and Weak, and Delta’s performance aggregated to an “Excellent” for the Group.

Delta Group Managing Director and Chair Ian Pollard says the company was delighted with the assessment. “This has been a hugely valuable process for us as a growing organisation and strongly validates the vision we have and the approach we have taken to developing a somewhat unique insurance business across the Asia-Pacific region.”

Pollard says MGAs are not normally able to undergo such a review process. “AM Best is the first and only such service so far to review companies like ours – and we are one of the first to be assessed. It’s gratifying to be assessed as Excellent on our first assessment as a relatively young company.”

Chaplin says Delta was also given a “stable” forward-looking assessment by AM Best. Their view was that Delta would “maintain its current position while it leverages its industry relationships and excellent staff to proceed to a more mature stage of operations that includes advancement of its gross premiums, geographic footprint and lines of business,” he says.

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