July 16 - As part of its continued effort to deliver increased transparency and insight into the rating process, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today published two articles to provide greater clarity around its proposed methodology for rating insurance companies (see Request for Comment: Insurers: Rating Methodology, published July 9, 2012, on RatingsDirect). The first of the two articles, Credit FAQ: Understanding Standard & Poor's Request for Comment for Rating Insurance Companies, offers additional intelligence on the questions that may be front-of-mind for market participants following the release of our proposed criteria. It also outlines how the request-for-comment process works, including the mechanisms for delivering feedback and estimated timing of next steps. The second article, Standard & Poor's Assigns Indicative Insurance Industry And Country Risk Assessments, establishes baseline provisional IICRA scores for insurance markets in 37 countries. This will provide the market with greater context for how the proposed IICRA will be employed and could affect ratings as they review and digest our criteria proposal. Market participants can use these scores to develop a deeper understanding of how the criteria construct and framework operate by combining these scores with other factors to estimate preliminary credit outcomes. By publishing these articles, our aim is to inspire a robust dialogue during the comment period while delivering more resources to increase the understanding of the criteria proposal. Along with these reports, other materials, including videos and tutorials related to the request for comment can be found atWe encourage all market participants to submit written comments on the proposed criteria by Sept. 9, 2012. Please send them to CriteriaComments@standardandpoors.com. After the deadline, we will review the comments and publish the criteria. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.