Are non-risk based capital requirements for insurance companies binding?
We investigate whether insurers base their solvency margins on risk factors even when operating under a supervisory regime where minimum solvency requirements do not fully take such risk factors into account. To do this, we use a dataset of about 350 Dutch insurers from all major lines of business during the pre-Solvency II period 1995-2005. We find that the levels of insurers' actual solvency margins are related to their risk characteristics and not to regulatory solvency requirements. Consequently, the vast majority of insurers hold much more capital than required, i.e. non-risk based capital requirements generally are not binding. Requirements are found to affect solvency adjustment behaviour, though. More specifically, below-target capital ratios are raised most rapidly by those insurers whose targets are relatively close to the regulatory minimum. One implication from our results is that, because insurers already follow a risk-based approach, the transition to the new European regulatory framework, Solvency II, is likely to be smooth.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Robert Klein & Richard Phillips & Wenyan Shiu, 2002. "The Capital Structure of Firms Subject to Price Regulation: Evidence from the Insurance Industry," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 79-100, February.
- Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
- Brown, Christine & Davis, Kevin, 2009. "Capital management in mutual financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 443-455, March.
- W. Bolt & A. F. Tieman, 2001.
"Banking competition, risk, and regulation,"
WO Research Memoranda (discontinued)
647, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- Scott Harrington & Greg Niehaus, 2002. "Capital Structure Decisions in the Insurance Industry: Stocks versus Mutuals," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 145-163, February.
- Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
- Merton, Robert C, 1974.
"On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
- Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Laux, Christian & Muermann, Alexander, 2006. "Mutual versus stock insurers: Fair premium, capital, and solvency," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Ivo Welch, 2002.
"Capital Structure and Stock Returns,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm263, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2003.
- Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1996.
"Risk Management, Capital Budgeting and Capital Structure Policy for Financial Institutions: An Integrated Approach,"
NBER Working Papers
5403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Froot, Kenneth A. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1998. "Risk management, capital budgeting, and capital structure policy for financial institutions: an integrated approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 55-82, January.
- Kenneth A. Froot & Jeremy C. Stein, 1996. "Risk Management, Capital Budgeting and Capital Structure Policy for Financial Institutions: An Integrated Approach," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-28, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1988. "Ownership Structure across Lines of Property-Casualty Insurance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 351-78, October.
- Pozzolo, Alberto Franco & Focarelli, Dario, 2007.
"Cross-Border M&As in the Financial Sector. Is Banking Different from Insurance?,"
Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers
esdp07032, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
- Focarelli, Dario & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2008. "Cross-border M&As in the financial sector: Is banking different from insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 15-29, January.
- Adams, Mike & Hardwick, Philip & Zou, Hong, 2008. "Reinsurance and corporate taxation in the United Kingdom life insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 101-115, January.
- Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2002.
"Market Timing and Capital Structure,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 1-32, 02.
- Gatzert, Nadine & Schmeiser, Hato, 2008. "Combining fair pricing and capital requirements for non-life insurance companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2589-2596, December.
- Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1981. "Contractual Provisions, Organizational Structure, and Conflict Control in Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 407-34, July.
- J. A. Bikker & M. van Leuvensteijn, 2008. "Competition and efficiency in the Dutch life insurance industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(16), pages 2063-2084.
- Soku Byoun, 2008. "How and When Do Firms Adjust Their Capital Structures toward Targets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 3069-3096, December.
- Harrington, Scott E. & Niehaus, Greg, 2003. "Capital, corporate income taxes, and catastrophe insurance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 365-389, October.
- Philip Bunn & Victoria Redwood, 2003. "Company accounts based modelling of business failures and the implications for financial stability," Bank of England working papers 210, Bank of England.
- Jan Willem van den End & Mostafa Tabbae, 2005. "Measuring Financial Stability: Applying the MfRisk Model to the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 030, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- J. Cummins & Gregory Nini, 2002. "Optimal Capital Utilization by Financial Firms: Evidence from the Property-Liability Insurance Industry," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 15-53, February.
- Lamm-Tennant, Joan & Starks, Laura T, 1993. "Stock versus Mutual Ownership Structures: The Risk Implications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 29-46, January.
- Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
- Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:7:p:1618-1627. See general 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.