The European Commission's (EC) November 2008 target for adopting the Solvency II framework directive was missed.
Because the adoption date was missed for these European insurance regulations, Standard & Poor's now believes that the earliest implementation date will probably be moved to Jan. 1, 2013, instead of Oct. 1, 2012.
The focus is now to adopt the directive by April 2009, before the European Parliament (EP) elections in June.
If that target is missed, a 2013 implementation would become challenging, the rating agency said.
"Some commentators have cited the current turmoil in investment markets as reason to pause before embarking on Solvency II," S&P analysts said. "Our opinion is the contrary; we believe that the turmoil highlights the urgency of implementing Solvency II."
The ratings agency said that Solvency II offers the prospect of a radical Europe-wide modernization of insurance supervision. This puts the regulation on a much more risk-sensitive footing compared with most other supervisory regimes around the world, acccording to S&P