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Capital Allocation for Insurance Companies-What Good IS IT?


  • Helmut Gründl
  • Hato Schmeiser


In their 2001 "Journal of Risk and Insurance" article, Stewart C. Myers and James A. Read Jr. propose to use a specific capital allocation method for pricing insurance contracts. We show that in their model framework no capital allocation to lines of business is needed for pricing insurance contracts. In the case of having to cover frictional costs, the suggested allocation method may even lead to inappropriate insurance prices. Beside the purpose of pricing insurance contracts, capital allocation methods proposed in the literature and used in insurance practice are typically intended to help derive capital budgeting decisions in insurance companies, such as expanding or contracting lines of business. We also show that net present value analyses provide better capital budgeting decisions than capital allocation in general. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Gründl & Hato Schmeiser, 2007. "Capital Allocation for Insurance Companies-What Good IS IT?," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(2), pages 301-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:74:y:2007:i:2:p:301-317

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown,Stephen J. & Sibley,David Sumner, 1986. "The Theory of Public Utility Pricing," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314008, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gatzert, Nadine & Schmeiser, Hato, 2008. "The influence of corporate taxes on pricing and capital structure in property-liability insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 50-58, February.
    2. Buch, Arne & Dorfleitner, Gregor & Wimmer, Maximilian, 2011. "Risk capital allocation for RORAC optimization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3001-3009, November.
    3. Bernard Carole & Le Courtois Olivier, 2012. "Asset Risk Management of Participating Contracts," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-23, June.
    4. Björn Häckel, 2010. "Risikoadjustierte Wertbeiträge zur ex ante Entscheidungsunterstützung: Ein axiomatischer Ansatz," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 81-108, June.
    5. Schlütter, Sebastian, 2011. "The role of frictional costs for insurance pricing and insurer default risk," ICIR Working Paper Series 07/11, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    6. Parente, Ronaldo & Choi, Byeongyong Paul & Slangen, Arjen H.L. & Ketkar, Sonia, 2010. "Distribution system choice in a service industry: An analysis of international insurance firms operating in the United States," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 275-287, September.
    7. Dionne, Georges & Harrington, Scott, 2017. "Insurance and Insurance Markets," Working Papers 17-2, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    8. Dorothea Diers & Martin Eling & Christian Kraus & Andreas Reuß, 2012. "Market-consistent embedded value in non-life insurance: how to measure it and why," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 13(4), pages 320-346, August.
    9. Gatzert, Nadine, 2008. "Asset management and surplus distribution strategies in life insurance: An examination with respect to risk pricing and risk measurement," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 839-849, April.
    10. repec:gam:jrisks:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:31-:d:101685 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Erel, Isil & Myers, Stewart C. & Read, James A., 2015. "A theory of risk capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 620-635.
    12. Mierzejewski, Fernando, 2008. "The Allocation of Economic Capital in Opaque Financial Conglomerates," MPRA Paper 9432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Braun, Alexander & Schmeiser, Hato & Rymaszewski, Przemysław, 2015. "Stock vs. mutual insurers: Who should and who does charge more?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(3), pages 875-889.
    14. Tsanakas, Andreas, 2009. "To split or not to split: Capital allocation with convex risk measures," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 268-277, April.
    15. Nadine Gatzert & Hato Schmeiser, 2011. "Industry loss warranties: contract features, pricing, and central demand factors," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 13(1), pages 13-31, December.
    16. Ivan Granito & Paolo De Angelis, 2015. "Capital allocation and risk appetite under Solvency II framework," Papers 1511.02934,

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