The volatility of the property-casualty market requires thesegmentation of risk among reinsurers. With recent catastrophesunderscoring this need, Standard & Poor's Rating Service hasreleased a paper outlining its criteria for rating start-upreinsurers.

Ten years ago, the New York-based rating service said it did notrate start-up companies. S&P required five years of operatinghistory before issuing a rating. Today, the service says it ratesinsurers with a shorter history, as well as new companies, butunder strict rating rules.

The criteria, S&P said, require a five year business planwith detailed revenue expectations and other economic data. Theremust be management discussion about capitalization and theexpectation that the insurer's capitalization plan will meet orexceed its rating for five years. Detailed biographies ofmanagement and board members are also required.

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