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The basis risk of catastrophic-loss index securities

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  • Cummins, J. David
  • Lalonde, David
  • Phillips, Richard D.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the basis risk of catastrophic-loss (CAT) index derivatives, which securitize losses from catastrophic events such as hurricanes and earthquakes. We analyze the hedging effectiveness of these instruments for 255 insurers writing 93 percent of the insured residential property values in Florida, the state most severely affected by exposure to hurricanes. County-level losses are simulated for each insurer using a sophisticated model developed by Applied Insurance Research. We analyze basis risk by measuring the effectiveness of hedge portfolios, consisting of a short position each insurer's own catastrophic losses and a long position in CAT-index call spreads, in reducing insurer loss volatility, value-at-risk, and expected losses above specified thresholds. Two types of loss indices are used -- a statewide index based on insurance losses in four quadrants of the state. The principal finding is that firms in the three largest Florida market-share quartiles can hedge almost as effectively using the intra-state index contracts as they can using contracts that settle on their own losses. Hedging with the statewide contracts is effective only for insurers with the largest market shares and for smaller insurers that are highly diversified throughout the state. The results also support the agency-theoretic hypotheses that mutual insurers are more diversified than stocks and that unaffiliated single firms are more diversified than insurers that are members of groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 77-111

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:71:y:2004:i:1:p:77-111

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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Cited by:
  1. Kellner, Ralf & Gatzert, Nadine, 2013. "Estimating the basis risk of index-linked hedging strategies using multivariate extreme value theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4353-4367.
  2. Gunther Leobacher & Philip Ngare, 2014. "Utility indifference pricing of derivatives written on industrial loss indexes," Papers 1404.0879, arXiv.org.
  3. Nell, Martin & Richter, Andreas, 2002. "Improving risk allocation through cat bonds," Working Papers on Risk and Insurance 10, University of Hamburg, Institute for Risk and Insurance.
  4. Hill, Ruth Vargas & Robles, Miguel, 2011. "Flexible insurance for heterogeneous farmers: Results from a small-scale pilot in Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1092, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Fink, Jason D. & Fink, Kristin E. & Russell, Allison, 2010. "When and how do tropical storms affect markets? The case of refined petroleum," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1283-1290, November.
  6. Nell, Martin & Richter, Andreas, 2004. "Catastrophic events as threats to society: Private and public risk management strategies," Working Papers on Risk and Insurance 12, University of Hamburg, Institute for Risk and Insurance.
  7. Chen, Hua & Cummins, J. David, 2010. "Longevity bond premiums: The extreme value approach and risk cubic pricing," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 150-161, February.
  8. Gatzert, Nadine & Kellner, Ralf, 2011. "The influence of non-linear dependencies on the basis risk of industry loss warranties," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 132-144, July.
  9. Ricardo Caballero G, 2002. "Coping With Chile’s External Vulnerability: A Financial Problem," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 5(1), pages 11-36, April.
  10. Fujita, Takahiko & Ishimura, Naoyuki & Tanaka, Daichi, 2008. "An Arbitrage Approach to the Pricing of Catastrophe Options Involving the Cox Process," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 49(2), pages 67-74, December.
  11. Epperson, James E., 2008. "Securitizing peanut production risk with catastrophe (CAT) bonds," Faculty Series 44512, University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  12. Nadine Gatzert & Hato Schmeiser, 2011. "Industry loss warranties: contract features, pricing, and central demand factors," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 13(1), pages 13-31, January.
  13. Alexander Harin, 2004. "Arrangement Infringement Possibility Approach: Some Economic Features of Large-Scale Events," Risk and Insurance 0409002, EconWPA.
  14. Kellenberg, Derek K. & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2008. "Does rising income increase or decrease damage risk from natural disasters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 788-802, May.
  15. Sommarat CHANTARAT & Kirk PANNANGPETCH & Nattapong PUTTANAPONG & Thanasin TANOMPONGHANDH, 2013. "Index-Based Risk Financing and Development of Natural Disaster Insurance Programs in Developing Asian Countries," Working Papers DP-2013-09, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  16. Hagendorff, Bjoern & Hagendorff, Jens & Keasey, Kevin & Gonzalez, Angelica, 2014. "The risk implications of insurance securitization: The case of catastrophe bonds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 387-402.
  17. Bjoern Hagendorff & Jens Hagendorff & Kevin Keasey, 2013. "The Shareholder Wealth Effects of Insurance Securitization: Preliminary Evidence from the Catastrophe Bond Market," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 281-301, December.
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  22. John Lewis, 2010. "Reinsurers as financial intermediaries in the market for catastrophic risk," DNB Occasional Studies 802, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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