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Multiple Losses, Ex-Ante Moral Hazard, and the Non-Optimality of the Standard Insurance Contract

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  • Michael Breuer

    ()
    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

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    Abstract

    Under certain conditions the optimal insurance policy will offer full coverage above a deductible, as Arrow and others have shown long time ago. Interestingly, the same design of insurance policies applies in case of a single loss and ex-ante moral hazard. However, many insurance policies provide coverage against a variety of losses and the possibilities for the insured to affect the probabilities of each possible loss might be substantially different. The optimal design of a insurance contract providing coverage against different losses therefore should generally differ from the standard form under moral hazard. The paper concentrates on the conditions under which the standard insurance contract holds under moral hazard and more than one loss. It gives some evidence that many insurance contracts should be split up. The main result is, that the relative changes of probabilities due to precautious activities are decisive. On the other hand, under moral hazard it is rarely ever optimal to combine two losses in one insurance contract prescribing only a single deductible for both losses if both losses can occur simultaneously.

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    File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2003/wp0302.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2003
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0302.

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    Length: 13 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2003
    Date of revision: Apr 2003
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Risk and Insurance 72(4), 2005, pages 525-538
    Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0302

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    Keywords: insurance; multiple losses; moral hazard;

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    1. Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler & Men-Andri Benz, 2002. "Infrastructure Quality in Deregulated Industries: Is there an Underinvestment Problem?," SOI - Working Papers 0209, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    2. Andreas Polk & Armin Schmutzler, 2003. "Lobbying against Environmental Regulation vs. Lobbying for Loopholes," SOI - Working Papers 0301, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    3. Andreas Polk, 2002. "Multilateral Agreement On Investments (MAI) - A Critical Assessment From an Industrial Economics Point of View," SOI - Working Papers 0201, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2002.
    4. Yves Schneider & Peter Zweifel, 2002. "How Much Internalization of Nuclear Risk Through Liability Insurance?," SOI - Working Papers 0211, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    5. Zava Aydemir & Stefan Buehler, 2002. "Estimating Vertical Foreclosure in U.S. Gasoline Supply," SOI - Working Papers 0212, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    6. Borek, Thomas & Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects - Mergers under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Subjektive Daten in der empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung: Probleme und Perspektiven," SOI - Working Papers 0207, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2002.
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