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Participating Life Insurance Products with Alternative Guarantees: Reconciling Policyholders’ and Insurers’ Interests

Author

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  • Andreas Reuß

    () (Institut für Finanz- und Aktuarwissenschaften and Ulm University, Lise-Meitner-Straße 14, 89081 Ulm, Germany)

  • Jochen Ruß

    () (Institut für Finanz- und Aktuarwissenschaften and Ulm University, Lise-Meitner-Straße 14, 89081 Ulm, Germany)

  • Jochen Wieland

    () (Institut für Finanz- und Aktuarwissenschaften and Ulm University, Lise-Meitner-Straße 14, 89081 Ulm, Germany)

Abstract

Traditional participating life insurance contracts with year-to-year (cliquet-style) guarantees have come under pressure in the current situation of low interest rates and volatile capital markets, in particular when priced in a market-consistent valuation framework. In addition, such guarantees lead to rather high capital requirements under risk-based solvency frameworks such as Solvency II or the Swiss Solvency Test (SST). Therefore, insurers in several countries have developed new forms of participating products with alternative (typically weaker and/or lower) guarantees that are less risky for the insurer. In a previous paper, it has been shown that such alternative product designs can lead to higher capital efficiency, i.e. , higher and more stable profits and reduced capital requirements. As a result, the financial risk for the insurer is significantly reduced while the main guarantee features perceived and requested by the policyholder are preserved. Based on these findings, this paper now combines the insurer’s and the policyholder’s perspective by analyzing product versions that compensate policyholders for the less valuable guarantees. We particularly identify combinations of asset allocation and profit participation rate for the different product designs that lead to an identical expected profit for the insurer (and identical risk-neutral value for the policyholder), but differ with respect to the insurer’s risk and solvency capital requirements as well as with respect to the real-world return distribution for the policyholder. We show that alternative products can be designed in a way that the insurer’s expected profitability remains unchanged, the insurer’s risk and hence capital requirement is substantially reduced and the policyholder’s expected return is increased. This illustrates that such products might be able to reconcile insurers’ and policyholders’ interests and serve as an alternative to the rather risky cliquet-style products.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Reuß & Jochen Ruß & Jochen Wieland, 2016. "Participating Life Insurance Products with Alternative Guarantees: Reconciling Policyholders’ and Insurers’ Interests," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-18, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jrisks:v:4:y:2016:i:2:p:11-:d:69437
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bjarke Jensen & Peter Løchte Jørgensen & Anders Grosen, 2001. "A Finite Difference Approach to the Valuation of Path Dependent Life Insurance Liabilities," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 26(1), pages 57-84, June.
    2. Barbarin, Jerome & Devolder, Pierre, 2005. "Risk measure and fair valuation of an investment guarantee in life insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 297-323, October.
    3. Grosen, Anders & Lochte Jorgensen, Peter, 2000. "Fair valuation of life insurance liabilities: The impact of interest rate guarantees, surrender options, and bonus policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 37-57, February.
    4. Kling, Alexander & Richter, Andreas & Ru[ss], Jochen, 2007. "The interaction of guarantees, surplus distribution, and asset allocation in with-profit life insurance policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 164-178, January.
    5. Alexander Kling & Andreas Richter & Jochen Ruß, 2007. "The Impact of Surplus Distribution on the Risk Exposure of With Profit Life Insurance Policies Including Interest Rate Guarantees," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(3), pages 571-589.
    6. Zaglauer, Katharina & Bauer, Daniel, 2008. "Risk-neutral valuation of participating life insurance contracts in a stochastic interest rate environment," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 29-40, August.
    7. Bauer, Daniel & Reuss, Andreas & Singer, Daniela, 2012. "On the Calculation of the Solvency Capital Requirement Based on Nested Simulations," ASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the International Actuarial Association, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 453-499, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Bauer, Daniel & Kiesel, Rudiger & Kling, Alexander & Ru[ss], Jochen, 2006. "Risk-neutral valuation of participating life insurance contracts," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 171-183, October.
    10. Aase, Knut K., 2014. "Life Insurance and Pension Contracts I: The Time Additive Life Cycle Model," Discussion Papers 2014/13, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    11. Grosen, Anders & Løchte Jørgensen, Peter, 2001. "Life Insurance Liabilities at Market Value," Finance Working Papers 01-4, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Business Studies.
    12. Nadine Gatzert & Alexander Kling, 2007. "Analysis of Participating Life Insurance Contracts: A Unification Approach," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(3), pages 547-570.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    participating life insurance; interest rate guarantees; capital efficiency; asset allocation; profit participation rate; policyholder’s expected return; solvency capital requirements; Solvency II; SST; market-consistent valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • M4 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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