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Price Cutting in Liability Insurance Markets

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  • Harrington, Scott E
  • Danzon, Patricia M

Abstract

This article analyzes alleged underpricing of general liability insurance prior to the mid-1980s liability insurance crisis. The theoretical analysis considers whether moral hazard and/or heterogeneous information for forecasting claim costs can cause some firms to price too low and depress other firms' prices. Cross-sectional analysis of insurer loss forecast revisions (which should be greater for firms with low prices caused by moral hazard or heterogeneous information) and premium growth provides evidence consistent with low pricing due to moral hazard but not heterogeneous information. The evidence also implies that shifts in the loss distribution produced large industrywide forecast errors. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrington, Scott E & Danzon, Patricia M, 1994. "Price Cutting in Liability Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 511-538, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:67:y:1994:i:4:p:511-38
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grace, M. F. & J. L. Hotchkiss, 1993. "External Impacts on the Property-Liability Insurance Cycle," Working Papers 020, Risk and Insurance Archive, revised Feb 1995.
    2. Beatty, Anne & Gron, Anne & Jorgensen, Bjorn, 2005. "Corporate risk management: evidence from product liability," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 152-178, April.
    3. G. Christodoulakis & E. Mamatzakis, 2010. "Return attribution analysis of the UK insurance portfolios," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 405-420, July.
    4. Beaver, William H. & McNichols, Maureen F. & Nelson, Karen K., 2003. "Management of the loss reserve accrual and the distribution of earnings in the property-casualty insurance industry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 347-376, August.
    5. Patricia Born & W. Kip Viscusi & Tom Baker, 2009. "The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers' Ultimate Losses," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(1), pages 197-219.
    6. Fiordelisi, Franco & Meles, Antonio & Monferrà, Stefano & Starita, Maria Grazia, 2013. "Personal vs. Corporate Goals: Why do Insurance Companies Manage Loss Reserves?," MPRA Paper 47867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Cummins, J. David & Harrington, Scott E. & Klein, Robert, 1995. "Insolvency experience, risk-based capital, and prompt corrective action in property-liability insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 511-527, June.
    8. Dong, Ming, 2014. "The impact of firm-level transparency on the ex ante risk decisions of insurers: Evidence from an empirical study," ICIR Working Paper Series 14/14, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    9. Faith R. Neale & Kevin L. Eastman & Pamela Peterson Drake, 2009. "Dynamics of the Market for Medical Malpractice Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(1), pages 221-247.
    10. Brian J. Hall, 1998. "Regulatory Free Cash Flow and the High Cost of Insurance Company Failures," NBER Working Papers 6837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Dionne, Georges & Harrington, Scott, 2017. "Insurance and Insurance Markets," Working Papers 17-2, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    12. Strauss, Jason, 2007. "Price Regulation, Market Exit, and Financial Leverage of Canadian Property-Liability Insurers," MPRA Paper 11212, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Oct 2008.
    13. Denis Kessler, 2005. "La fin du cycle traditionnel en assurance et réassurance de dommages ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 80(3), pages 159-170.
    14. Dionne, Georges & Desjardins, Denise, 2017. "Reinsurance Demand and Liquidity Creation," Working Papers 17-3, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    15. Florez-Lopez, Raquel, 2007. "Modelling of insurers' rating determinants. An application of machine learning techniques and statistical models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 183(3), pages 1488-1512, December.
    16. Altuntas, Muhammed & Berry-Stölzle, Thomas R. & Wende, Sabine, 2015. "Does one size fit all? Determinants of insurer capital structure around the globe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 251-271.
    17. Heni Boubaker & Nadia Sghaier, 2014. "How Do the Interest Rate and the Inflation Rate Affect the Non-Life Insurance Premiums ?," Working Papers 2014-282, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    18. Jiang, Shi-jie & Nieh, Chien-Chung, 2012. "Dynamics of underwriting profits: Evidence from the U.S. insurance market," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-15.

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