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Automobile Insurance Contracts and Risk of Accident: An Empirical Test Using French Individual Data

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  • Didier Richaudeau

    ([1] Laboratoire de Microéconomie Appliquée (LAMIA), Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Département d'Evaluation et de Recherche en Accidentologie, INRETS [2] Laboratoire de Finance-Assurance, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique Timbre, J320-15 boulevard Gabriel Péri 92245 Malakoff Cedex France)

Abstract

Insurance has for a long time been perceived as a way of transferring responsibility from insured agents to insurers and thus as potentially influencing insured agents' behavior. Two particular opportunistic behaviors have been analyzed. First, the theory of adverse selection predicts that high-risk agents are likely to demand more insurance than are low-risk agents. Second, the theory of moral hazard predicts that the wider the insurance coverage, the less agents will try to prevent accidents. Both theories thus conclude that agents who are totally insured should have a higher probability of accident than those with only partial insurance, ceteris paribus. Nevertheless, one of the aims of insurance rating systems is to control for these opportunistic behaviors. In this article, we use individual data to see if the French automobile insurance rating system has achieved this aim. We do this using a two-step maximum-likelihood method. First, we compute a probit model to estimate the probability of taking out comprehensive versus third-party insurance. We then calculate the generalized residual, which is included as an independent variable in a negative binomial model estimating the probability of having an accident. The coefficient of this variable is argued to represent adverse selection and ex-ante moral-hazard behavior. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory (1999) 24, 97–114. doi:10.1023/A:1008737416839

Suggested Citation

  • Didier Richaudeau, 1999. "Automobile Insurance Contracts and Risk of Accident: An Empirical Test Using French Individual Data," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 24(1), pages 97-114, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:genrir:v:24:y:1999:i:1:p:97-114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bond, Eric W. & Crocker, Keith J., 1997. "Hardball and the soft touch: The economics of optimal insurance contracts with costly state verification and endogenous monitoring costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 239-264, January.
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    3. Marie-Cécile Fagart & Pierre Picard, 1999. "Optimal Insurance Under Random Auditing," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 24(1), pages 29-54, June.
    4. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
    5. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1984. "Regulation, Asymmetric Information, and Auditing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 447-470, Winter.
    6. Picard, Pierre, 2000. "On the Design of Optimal Insurance Policies under Manipulation of Audit Cost," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1049-1071, November.
    7. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    8. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1984. "A complete solution to a class of principal-agent problems with an application to the control of a self-managed firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-369, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georges Dionne, 2012. "The Empirical Measure of Information Problems with Emphasis on Insurance Fraud and Dynamic Data," Cahiers de recherche 1233, CIRPEE.
    2. Martin Spindler & Joachim Winter & Steffen Hagmayer, 2014. "Asymmetric Information in the Market for Automobile Insurance: Evidence From Germany," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 81(4), pages 781-801, December.
    3. Alma Cohen & Peter Siegelman, 2010. "Testing for Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 39-84.
    4. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory : A Survey of Some Recent Work," Working Papers 2002-11, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. GÓMEZ GARCÍA, J.Mª & PELÁEZ FERMOSO, F.J. & y GARCÍA GONZÁLEZ, A., 2005. "Repercusiones del envejecimiento demográfico sobre el sistema público de pensiones en Castilla y León," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 235-253, Abril.
    6. repec:mea:meawpa:12259 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. G. Dionne, 2001. "Commitment and Automobile Insurance in France, Quebec and Japan," THEMA Working Papers 2001-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    8. Dionne, Georges & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Pinquet, Jean, 2013. "A review of recent theoretical and empirical analyses of asymmetric information in road safety and automobile insurance," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 85-97.
    9. Georges Dionne & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Maki Dahchour, 2004. "Separating Moral Hazard from Adverse Selection in Automobile Insurance: Longitudinal Evidence from France," Cahiers de recherche 0420, CIRPEE.
    10. Shi, Peng & Valdez, Emiliano A., 2011. "A copula approach to test asymmetric information with applications to predictive modeling," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 226-239, September.
    11. Jose Antonio Ordaz & Maria del Carmen Melgar & M. Kazim Khan, 2010. "Use and Extension of Count Data Models in the Determination of Relevant Factors for Claims in the Automobile Insurance Sector," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 119-138.

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