On the Preference for Full-Coverage Policies: Why do People buy too much Insurance?
One of the most intriguing questions in insurance is the preference of consumers for low or zero deductible insurance policies. This stands in sharp contrast to a theorem proved by Mossin, 1968, that under quite common assumptions when the price of insurance is higher than its actuarial value, then full coverage is not optimal. We show in a series of experiments that amateur subjects tend to underestimate the value of a policy with a deductible and that the degree of underestimation increases with the size of the deductible. We hypothesize that this tendency is caused by the anchoring heuristic. In particular, in pricing a policy with a deductible subjects first consider the price of a full coverage policy. Then they anchor on the size of the deductible and subtract it from the price of the full coverage policy. However, they do not adjust the price enough upward to take into account the fact that there is only a small chance that the deductible will be applied toward their payments. We also show that professionals in the field of insurance are less prone to such a bias. This implies that a policy with a deductible priced according to the true expected payments may seem “overpriced” to the insured and therefore may not be purchased. Since the values of full coverage policies are not underestimated the insured may find them as relatively better “deals”.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem|
Web page: http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002.
"For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior,"
JCPR Working Papers
256, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 8651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003.
"The Equity Premium in Retrospect,"
NBER Working Papers
9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wakker, P.P. & Thaler, R.H. & Tversky, A., 1997.
1997-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010.
"The equity premium: a puzzle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1401, David K. Levine.
- Uri Gneezy & John A. List & George Wu, 2006.
"The Uncertainty Effect: When a Risky Prospect is Valued Less than its Worst Possible Outcome,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1283-1309.
- Uri Gneezy & John List & George Wu, 2006. "The uncertainty effect: When a risky prospect is valued less than its worst possible outcome," Framed Field Experiments 00152, The Field Experiments Website.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2006.
"National Survey Evidence on Disasters and Relief: Risk Beliefs, Self-Interest, and Compassion,"
NBER Working Papers
12582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- W. Viscusi & Richard Zeckhauser, 2006. "National survey evidence on disasters and relief: Risk beliefs, self-interest, and compassion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-36, September.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- repec:reg:rpubli:435 is not listed on IDEAS
- Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2002. "How Much Is Investor Autonomy Worth?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1593-1616, 08.
- Michael Braun & Alexander Muermann, 2004. "The Impact of Regret on the Demand for Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(4), pages 737-767.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp460. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tomer Siedner)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.