Standard & Poor's recently unveiled details of its new rating category for insurance companies, called a Financial Enhancement Rating. The agency has brought in its new rating in the wake of the increasing number of multiline insurers who have entered the asset-backed and corporate bond markets, and whose underwriting and payment standards may not be what investors are used to from traditional monolines.

S&P will unveil a list of the companies that have been granted an FER at the end of July. The agency said that around 40 insurers will make the list, with half coming from the multiline business and the other half being monolines.

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