Costly risk verification without commitment in competitive insurance markets
This paper analyzes the equilibrium of an insurance market where applicants for insurance have a duty of good faith when they reveal private information about their risk type. Insurers can, at some cost, verify the type of insureds who file a claim and they are allowed to retroactively void the insurance contract if it is established that the policyholder has misrepresented his risk when the contract was taken out. However, insurers cannot precommit to their risk verification strategy. The paper analyzes the relationship between second-best Pareto-optimality and the insurance market equilibrium in a game theoretic framework. It characterizes the contracts offered at equilibrium, the individuals' contract choice as well as the conditions under which an equilibrium exists.
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