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Financial Innovation in the Management of Catastrophe Risk

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  • Neil A. Doherty

Abstract

Like the preceding article, this article argues that the high costs of reinsurance present the opportunity for hedging instruments to be offered to primary insurers that are both competitive with current reinsurance and that offer investors high rates of return. But the combination of high reinsurance premiums and the vast capacity of the capital market for diversification is not sufficient to ensure the success of these new instruments. If new instruments such as catastrophe options and catastrophelinked bonds are to compete successfully with reinsurance, they must provide a cost‐effective means of resolving incentive conflicts between the primary insurer and the ultimate risk bearer that are known as “moral hazard.” Without an effective solution of this moral hazard problem, the use of past insurance loss data to estimate the potential returns for purchasers of catastrophe bonds and other such instruments will be misleading and unreliable. As the author demonstrates, both traditional reinsurance and each of the new catastrophe hedging instruments presents insurance companies and other hedgers with the challenge of managing a different combination of moral hazard, credit risk, and basis risk. For example, traditional catastrophe reinsurance is subject to significant credit risk and moral hazard, but little if any basis risk. By contrast, both catastrophe options and bonds can be designed in ways that reduce moral hazard and credit risk, but at the cost of taking on some basis risk. The risk manager's task in such circumstances is to design an instrument that embodies the optimal, or cost‐minimizing, trade‐off among these three sources of risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil A. Doherty, 1997. "Financial Innovation in the Management of Catastrophe Risk," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 10(3), pages 84-95, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jacrfn:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:84-95
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6622.1997.tb00149.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6622.1997.tb00149.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Cummins, J David & Mahul, Olivier, 2003. "Optimal Insurance with Divergent Beliefs about Insurer Total Default Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 121-138, October.
    2. Neil A. Doherty & Harris Schlesinger, 2001. "Insurance Contracts and Securitization," CESifo Working Paper Series 559, CESifo.
    3. 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;Western Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 281-301, December.
    4. Skees, Jerry R., 2000. "A role for capital markets in natural disasters: a piece of the food security puzzle," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 365-378, June.
    5. James F. Moore, 1999. "Tail Estimation and Catastrophe Security Pricing: Can We Tell What Target We Hit if We Are Shooting in the Dark?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-14, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Alexander Harin, 2004. "Arrangement infringement possibility approach: some economic features of large-scale events," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(11), pages 1.
    7. J. Stripple, 1998. "Securitizing the Risks of Climate Change. Institutional Innovations in the Insurance of Catastrophic Risks," Working Papers ir98098, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    8. Jerry R. Skees & Barry J. Barnett & Anne G. Murphy, 2008. "Creating insurance markets for natural disaster risk in lower income countries: the potential role for securitization," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 68(1), pages 151-167, May.
    9. Lai, Van Son & Parcollet, Mathieu & Lamond, Bernard F., 2014. "The valuation of catastrophe bonds with exposure to currency exchange risk," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 243-252.
    10. Epperson, James E., 2008. "Securitizing peanut production risk with catastrophe (CAT) bonds," Faculty Series 44512, University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    11. Cummins, J. David & Lalonde, David & Phillips, Richard D., 2004. "The basis risk of catastrophic-loss index securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 77-111, January.
    12. Silke Finken & Christian Laux, 2009. "Catastrophe Bonds and Reinsurance: The Competitive Effect of Information‐Insensitive Triggers," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(3), pages 579-605, September.
    13. Götze, Tobias & Gürtler, Marc, 2020. "Hard markets, hard times: On the inefficiency of the CAT bond market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    14. Fabio Pizzutilo & Elisabetta Venezia, 2018. "Are catastrophe bonds effective financial instruments in the transport and infrastructure industries? Evidence from international financial markets," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center, vol. 14(2), pages 256-267, April.
    15. Lin, Yijia & Cox, Samuel H., 2008. "Securitization of catastrophe mortality risks," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 628-637, April.
    16. Unknown, 1999. "Policy Reform, Market Stability, And Food Security; Proceedings Of A Conference Of The International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium," 1998: Policy Reform, Market Stability, and Food Security Conference, June 1998, Alexandria VA 14538, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.

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