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Predictors of customer loyalty in automobile insurance - The role of private information in risky driving behavior and claim history


  • Arvidsson, Sara

    () (VTI)


Contract-relevant information asymmetries are known to cause inefficien-cies in markets. The information asymmetry is largest in the beginning of the customer-insurer relationship but reduces over time; the longer a poli-cyholder stays with the insurer the more the insurer learns about the poli-cyholder’s risk. Two important characteristics of the market studied here imply that the information asymmetry may not be reduced for all policy-holders. First, insurers do not have access to traffic violations, which are predictors of risk since policyholders with traffic violations are more likely to report a claim. Second, the insurers do not share information, such as previous claims, which means that the policyholder can flee a poor claim record by switching insurer. Hence, there may be a selection of high risk customers who switch insurer more often, such that the information asymmetry in this group is never reduced. To test this, we compare infor-mation asymmetries in two groups of policyholders; new customers who stay with the insurer for a period or less (short term), and long-term cus-tomers who stay with the insurer for several periods (loyal). The results indicate that departing policyholders are disproportionately high risks that constitute an adverse selection of risks, while loyal policyholders constitute a propitious (favorable) selection of risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Arvidsson, Sara, 2011. "Predictors of customer loyalty in automobile insurance - The role of private information in risky driving behavior and claim history," Working papers in Transport Economics 2011:2, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ctswps:2011_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alma Cohen, 2012. "Asymmetric Learning in Repeated Contracting: An Empirical Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 419-432, May.
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    5. Alma Cohen, 2005. "Asymmetric Information and Learning: Evidence from the Automobile Insurance Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 197-207, May.
    6. Limor Golan, "undated". "Counteroffers and Efficiency in Competitive Labor Markets with Asymmetric Information," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E28, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    7. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Ezra Friedman & Robert Marquez, 1999. "Adverse Selection as a Barrier to Entry in the Banking Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 515-534, Autumn.
    8. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
    9. Waldman, Michael, 1996. "Asymmetric learning and the wage/productivity relationship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 419-429, December.
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    More about this item


    Asymmetric information; insurance; accidents; adverse selection; propitious selection;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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