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The Risk Management of Minimum Return Guarantees

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  • Antje Mahayni
  • Erik Schlögl

Abstract

We analyse contracts which pay out a guaranteed minimum rate of return and a fraction of a positive excess rate, which is specified on the basis of a benchmark portfolio. These contracts are closely related to unit--linked life--insurance/savings plan products and can be considered as alternatives to a direct investment in the underlying benchmark portfolio. The option embedded into the savings plan is in fact a power option, and thus the specification of the ``fair'' contract parameters is closely related to well known features of these financial derivatives. The key issue, both in order to rigorously justify valuation by arbitrage arguments and to prevent the guarantees from becoming uncontrollable liabilities to the issuer, is the risk management of the embedded options by a tractable and realistic hedging strategy. The long maturity of life--insurance products makes it necessary to lift the Black/Scholes assumptions and consider an uncertain volatility scenario, thus explicitly taking into account ``model risk''. In this context, we show how to determine the contract parameters conservatively and implement robust risk management strategies. This highlights the necessity of a careful choice of guarantees which are granted to the insurance customer and suggests a new role for a type of ``bonus account'' customary in many life--insurance contracts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse18_2003.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse18_2003

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

Related research

Keywords: Minimum return guarantee; defined--contribution pension plans; life--insurance; uncertain volatility; conservative pricing; robust hedging; model;

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References

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  1. Nielsen, J. Aase & Klaus Sandmann, 1995. "Equity-linked life insurance - a model with stochastic interest rates," Discussion Paper Serie B 291, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1995.
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  3. Pelsser, Antoon, 2003. "Pricing and hedging guaranteed annuity options via static option replication," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 283-296, October.
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  9. Antje B. Mahayni & Klaus Sandmann, 2008. "Return Guarantees with Delayed Payment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 207-231, 05.
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  13. Schrager, David F. & Pelsser, Antoon A.J., 2004. "Pricing Rate of Return Guarantees in Regular Premium Unit Linked Insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 369-398, October.
  14. Bacinello, Anna Rita & Ortu, Fulvio, 1993. "Pricing equity-linked life insurance with endogenous minimum guarantees," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 245-257, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Branger, Nicole & Mahayni, Antje & Schneider, Judith C., 2010. "On the optimal design of insurance contracts with guarantees," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 485-492, June.
  2. Antje B. Mahayni & Klaus Sandmann, 2008. "Return Guarantees with Delayed Payment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 207-231, 05.
  3. Chen, An, 2008. "Loss analysis of a life insurance company applying discrete-time risk-minimizing hedging strategies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 1035-1049, June.

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