Catastrophe Insurance, Capital Markets and Uninsurable Risks
AbstractThis paper examines the causes of the failure of the private market for catastrophe insurance and examines some public solutions. Although the standard explanations of insurance market failure (adverse selection and moral hazard, large imprecise risks) are present, we argue that the primary explanation for the failure of this market lies in the inability of insurance companies to arrange for the level of capital necessary to settle a large loss. We examine four reasons for this: a) accounting provisions which preclude the setting up of reserves against losses anticipated but not yet incurred, b) the absence of tax incentives to reserve, c) management fear of loss of control associated with takeovers of companies with large stocks of free cash, and d) reluctance of regulators to raise the rates of firms with large holdings of cash. We examine new capital instruments (catastrophe options, contingency bonds) but find that these new instruments at present fail to provide adequate quantities of capital to meet a large loss. We then examine public schemes in California, Florida, and Hawaii, and argue that if the accounting, tax and regulatory advantages enjoyed by these schemes were made available to the private sector, private corporations would be likely to reenter this market. This paper was presented at the Financial Institutions Center's May 1996 conference on "
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 96-12.
Date of creation: May 1996
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 3301 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104.6367
Web page: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 1994.
"What do firms do with cash windfalls?,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 337-360, December.
- Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
- Dwight Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1995.
"The Causes and Consequences of Rate Regulation in the Auto Insurance Industry,"
NBER Working Papers
5245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dwight Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1998. "The Causes and Consequences of Rate Regulation in the Auto Insurance Industry," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance, pages 81-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
- Patricia Born & William M. Gentry & W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1998.
"Organizational Form and Insurance Company Performance: Stocks versus Mutuals,"
in: The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance, pages 167-192
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patricia Born & William M. Gentry & W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1995. "Organizational Form and Insurance Company Performance: Stocks versus Mutuals," NBER Working Papers 5246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.