The effects of the unprecedented level of losses in 2005 continue to be felt within the global insurance and reinsurance market. Rating downgrades are announced almost daily, with the situation so serious for some underwriters that they are forced out of business. While the impact of the challenges to the market from 2005 may be unprecedented, what has been underlined is the power and influence of the rating agencies.Traditionally, ratings were used as a guide to the financial strength of po
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