The credit crisis, particularly the government's bailout of mammoth insurer American International Group, increased risk managers' concerns about the creditworthiness of insurance companies. Now brokerage Marsh has launched a Web-based service to help companies keep tabs on the solvency of their carriers.

Marsh Market Information (MMI) provides ratings, financial analysis, news updates and other information on 1,500 insurance companies. Risk managers, who access MMI through a secure Web portal, can assemble a list of insurers they work with and track an array of information about them, including the performance of the stock of an insurer's parent company and where its credit default swaps are trading.

Stacey Regan, deputy treasurer at General Electric, noted in a recent Web cast that while GE used to rely on insurers' ratings, now "we supplement those by diving much deeper into our insurers' financials." Among the elements GE considers are credit default swaps, regulated entity structure, and capital by regulated entity, she says.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.