Fitch Ratings have published an updated version of their rating criteria for insurance-linked securities transactions including catastrophe bonds. The new rating criteria replaces three existing Fitch reports which covered the sector, the ‘Insurance-Linked Securities Rating Criteria (Global)’ issued on Feb. 4, 2008; ‘Catastrophe Bonds Rating Criteria’ issued on March 11, 2008; and ‘Life Insurance Reserve Financing Ratings Criteria’ issued on July 8, 2008.
The new rating criteria, as well as consolidating the previous three documents into one which will help prospective issuers understand Fitch’s approach to ILS and cat bonds more readily, also reflects what Fitch call ‘on-going market changes toward new legal structures and insurance risks’. In particular Fitch’s new rating criteria for ILS ‘melds and references the analytical process included in structured finance criteria, insurance criteria or a combination of both’.
Fitch say that this update is not expected to affect any ILS ratings that they currently provide.
Visit the Fitch website to read the press release and the new rating criteria document, titled ‘Insurance-Linked Securities – Sector Specific Rating Criteria’.