Critical accounting estimates and judgements in applying accounting policies

Information about estimates and assumptions that have the most significant effect on recognition and measurement of assets, liabilities, income and expenses is provided below. Actual results may be substantially different.

Claims under settlement reserve, IBNR, ULAE, URR and UPR

The estimation of the ultimate liability (claims under settlement reserve, IBNR, ULAE and URR) arising from claims and UPR made under insurance contracts is the Company’s most critical accounting estimate. These estimates are continually reviewed and updated, and adjustments resulting from this review are reflected in the income statement. The process relies upon the basic assumption that past experience, adjusted for the effect of current developments and likely trends (including actuarial calculations), is an appropriate basis for predicting future events.

Fair value of financial instruments

Where the fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities recorded in the statement of financial position cannot be derived from active markets, their fair value is determined using valuation techniques including the discounted cash flow model. The inputs to these models are taken from observable markets where possible, but where this is not feasible, a degree of judgement is required in establishing fair values. The judgements include considerations of inputs such as liquidity risk, credit risk and volatility. Changes in assumptions about these factors could affect the reported fair value of financial instruments.

Measurement of the expected credit losses allowance

Assessment of whether credit risk on the financial asset has increased significantly since initial recognition and incorporation of forward looking information in the measurement of Expected Credit Losses (“ECL”) requires the use of complex models and significant assumptions about future economic conditions and credit behavior. The Company considers a financial asset to be in default when the borrower is unlikely to pay its credit obligations to the Company in full, without recourse by the Company to actions such as realizing security (if any is held).

A number of factors are also considered in applying the accounting requirements for measuring ECL, such as:

  • determining the criteria for significant increase in credit risk;
  • determining the criteria and definition of default;
  • choosing appropriate models and assumptions for the measurement of ECL; and
  • establishing groups of similar financial assets for the purpose of measuring ECL

When determining whether the credit risk of a financial asset has increased significantly since initial recognition and when estimating ECLs, the Company considers reasonable and supportable information that is relevant and available without undue cost or effort. This includes both quantitative and qualitative information and analysis, based on the Company’s historical experience and informed credit assessment and including forward-looking information.

Classification of investments

Management decides on acquisition of an investment whether it should be classified as investments carried at fair value or amortised cost on the basis of both:

(a) its business model for managing the financial assets; and

(b) the contractual cash flow characteristics of the financial asset.

For equity investments carried at fair value, management decides whether it should be classified as financial assets carried at fair value through other comprehensive income or fair value through profit or loss.

Investments in equity instruments are classified and measured at fair value through profit or loss (“FVTPL”) except if the equity investment is not held for trading and is designated by the Company at fair value through other comprehensive income (“FVOCI”).

Further, even if the asset meets the amortised cost criteria the Company may choose at initial recognition to designate the financial asset as at FVTPL if doing so eliminates or significantly reduces an accounting mismatch.

For debt securities acquired to match its business model of development of the line of business, the Company classifies these investments as financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income.