Replacement Cost Endorsement and Opportunistic Fraud in Automobile Insurance
Traditional insurance contracts do not offer protection against the replacement value of a vehicle. A replacement cost endorsement gives the opportunity to get a new vehicle in the case of a total theft or in the case of total destruction of the car in a road accident. This type of protection was introduced in Canada in the late 1980's. It is also offered in France and many insurers in the United States are going to move in that direction. We propose tests that separate moral hazard from adverse selection in the analysis of the effect of this additional protection on car theft. We show that holders of car insurance policies with a replacement cost endorsement have a higher probability of theft near the end of this additional protection (usually 24 months following the acquisition of a new car). Our tests indicate that this result is a form of ex post moral hazard or opportunistic insurance fraud. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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