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Longevity Risk and Natural Hedge Potential in Portfolios Of Life Insurance Products: The Effect of Investment Risk

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Author Info

  • Stevens, R.S.P.
  • De Waegenaere, A.M.B.
  • Melenberg, B.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Payments of life insurance products depend on the uncertain future evolution of survival probabilities. This uncertainty is referred to as longevity risk. Existing literature shows that the effect of longevity risk on single life annuities can be substantial, and that there exists a (natural) hedge potential from combining single life annuities with death benefits or from investing in survivor swaps. The effect of financial risk on these hedge effects is typically ignored. The aim of this paper is to quantify longevity risk in portfolios of mortality-linked assets and liabilities, taking into account the effect of financial risk. We find that investment risk significantly affects the impact of longevity risk in life insurance products. It also significantly affects the hedge potential that arises from combining life insurance products, or from investing in longevity-linked assets. For example, our results suggest that ignoring the effect of financial risk can lead to severe overestimation of the natural hedge potential from death benefits, and underestimation of the hedge effects of survivor swaps.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-036.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011036

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: Life insurance; life annuities; death benefits; survivor swaps; risk management; financial risk; longevity risk; insolvency risk; capital adequacy;

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References

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  1. Kevin Dowd & David Blake & Andrew J. G. Cairns & Paul Dawson, 2006. "Survivor Swaps," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(1), pages 1-17.
  2. Olivia S Mitchell & John Piggott & Michael Sherris & Shaun Yow, 2006. "Financial Innovation for an Ageing World," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
  3. Tsai, Jeffrey T. & Wang, Jennifer L. & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2010. "On the optimal product mix in life insurance companies using conditional value at risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 235-241, February.
  4. Hári, Norbert & De Waegenaere, Anja & Melenberg, Bertrand & Nijman, Theo E., 2008. "Longevity risk in portfolios of pension annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 505-519, April.
  5. Anja De Waegenaere & Bertrand Melenberg & Ralph Stevens, 2010. "Longevity Risk," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 151-192, June.
  6. Biffis, Enrico & Blake, David, 2010. "Securitizing and tranching longevity exposures," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 186-197, February.
  7. Andrew J. G. Cairns & David Blake & Kevin Dowd, 2006. "A Two-Factor Model for Stochastic Mortality with Parameter Uncertainty: Theory and Calibration," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 687-718.
  8. David Blake & Andrew Cairns & Kevin Dowd & Richard MacMinn, 2006. "Longevity Bonds: Financial Engineering, Valuation, and Hedging," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 647-672.
  9. Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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