The Impact of the 2003 Regulatory Reform in the Canadian Property-Casualty Insurance Industry on Insurers' Surplus Levels
Canada modified the capital adequacy test for property/casualty insurers to align regulatory surplus and firm risk. We explore the impact of this change on insurer surplus holdings. We find firms have not changed the level of surplus in response to risk characteristics in the capital adequacy test. However, firms have reduced surplus holdings in jurisdictions in which automobile insurance reform has been successful, and increased surplus holdings in jurisdictions with escalating automobile insurance claims. Overall, larger firms have increased their surplus holdings since 2003, whereas smaller insurers report surplus-to-net-premium-written ratios that have been declining over time. In addition, insurers that are part of a larger financial conglomerate have consistently held more surplus than their counterparts. We conjecture that these higher levels may be related more to the conglomerate’s future strategic opportunities than the insurer’s level of risk.
Volume (Year): 33 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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