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Deductible Contracts Against Fraudulent Claims: Evidence From Automobile Insurance


  • Georges Dionne
  • Robert Gagné


Insurance fraud is now recognized as a significant resourceallocation problem in many markets. The object of this study is to verify how straight deductible contracts may affect the equilibrium level of falsification in automobile insurance. This type of contract is observed in many markets, even if it is not optimal under costly state falsification. A higher deductible may create incentives to fraud or cheat, particularly when the insured anticipates that the claim has a small probability of being audited. To verify this proposition, we estimate a loss equation for which one of the determinants is the amount of the deductible, using a data set of claims filed for damages following an automobile accident with twenty insurance companies in Quebec in 1992. Because we have access only to reported losses, a higher deductible also implies a lower probability of reporting small losses. To isolate the fraud effect related to the presence of a deductible in the contract, we jointly estimate a loss equation and a threshold equation. The threshold is the amount over which an insured decides to report a given loss. It can be interpreted as a personal deductible, and it is not observable. Our results indicate, among other things, that with an appropriate correction for selectivity the amount of the deductible is a significant determinant of the reported loss, at least when no other vehicle is involved in the accident; in other words, when the presence of witnesses is less likely. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Georges Dionne & Robert Gagné, 2001. "Deductible Contracts Against Fraudulent Claims: Evidence From Automobile Insurance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 290-301, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:2:p:290-301

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. G. Dionne & R. Gagné, 1997. "The non-optimality of deductible contracts against fraudulent claims : an empirical evidence in automobile insurance," THEMA Working Papers 97-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
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    14. 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.
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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. Dionne, Georges & Gagne, Robert, 2002. "Replacement Cost Endorsement and Opportunistic Fraud in Automobile Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 213-230, May.
    4. Georges Dionne & Florence Giuliano & Pierre Picard, 2009. "Optimal Auditing with Scoring: Theory and Application to Insurance Fraud," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 58-70, January.
    5. Jean-Marc Bourgeon & Pierre Picard, 2014. "Fraudulent Claims and Nitpicky Insurers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2900-2917, September.
    6. 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.
    7. G. Dionne & F. Giuliano & P. Picard, 2002. "Optimal auditing for insurance fraud," THEMA Working Papers 2002-32, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    8. Lammers, Frauke & Schiller, Jörg, 2010. "Contract design and insurance fraud: An experimental investigation," FZID Discussion Papers 19-2010, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    9. 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.
    10. Anthony Miyazaki, 2009. "Perceived Ethicality of Insurance Claim Fraud: Do Higher Deductibles Lead to Lower Ethical Standards?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(4), pages 589-598, July.
    11. repec:mea:meawpa:12259 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Dionne, Georges & Harrington, Scott, 2017. "Insurance and Insurance Markets," Working Papers 17-2, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    14. Lu-Ming Tseng & Wen-Pin Su, 2014. "Insurance Salespeople's Attitudes towards Collusion: The Case of Taiwan’s Car Insurance Industry," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 39(1), pages 25-41, January.
    15. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Müller & Philipp Weinschenk, 2008. "The Optimality of Simple Contracts: Moral Hazard and Loss Aversion," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse17_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
    16. Georges Dionne & Kili Wang, 2013. "Does insurance fraud in automobile theft insurance fluctuate with the business cycle?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 67-92, August.
    17. Steven B. Caudill & Mercedes Ayuso & Montserrat Guillén, 2005. "Fraud Detection Using a Multinomial Logit Model With Missing Information," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(4), pages 539-550.
    18. Chu-Shiu Li & Chwen-Chi Liu & Sheng-Chang Peng, 2013. "Expiration Dates in Automobile Insurance Contracts: The Curious Case of Last Policy Month Claims in Taiwan," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 38(1), pages 23-47, March.
    19. Jing Ai & Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden & Montserrat Guillén, 2013. "A Robust Unsupervised Method for Fraud Rate Estimation," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(1), pages 121-143, March.
    20. Pierre Picard, 2012. "Economic Analysis of Insurance Fraud," Working Papers hal-00725561, HAL.
    21. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:4:p:1269-1293 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Georges Dionne & Kili C. Wang, 2011. "Does Opportunistic Fraud in Automobile theft Insurance Fluctuate with the Business Cycle ?," Cahiers de recherche 1121, CIRPEE.

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