Counterparty Risk in Insurance Contracts: Should the Insured Worry about the Insurer?
We analyze the effect of counterparty risk on insurance contracts using the case of credit risk transfer in banking. In addition to the familiar moral hazard problem caused by the insuree's ability to influence the probability of a claim, this paper uncovers a new moral hazard problem on the other side of the market. We show that the insurer's investment strategy may not be in the best interests of the insuree. The reason for this is that if the insurer believes it is unlikely that a claim will be made, it is advantageous for them to invest in assets which earn higher returns, but may not be readily available if needed. This paper models both of these moral hazard problems in a unified framework. We find that instability in the insurer can create an incentive for the insuree to reveal superior information about the risk of their "investment". In particular, a unique separating equilibrium may exist even in the absence of any signalling device. We extend the model and show that increasing the number of insurers with which the insuree contracts can exacerbate the moral hazard problem and may not decrease counterparty risk. Our research suggests that regulators should be wary of risk being offloaded to other, possibly unstable parties, especially in newer financial markets such as that of credit derivatives.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6|
Phone: (613) 533-2250
Fax: (613) 533-6668
Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Marsh, Ian W & Wagner, Wolf, 2004. "Credit Risk Transfer and Financial Sector Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 4265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lasse H. Pedersen & Markus Brunnermeier, 2004.
Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings
425, Econometric Society.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pederson, 2003. "Predatory trading," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24829, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Markus K Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pederson, 2003. "Predatory Trading," FMG Discussion Papers dp441, Financial Markets Group.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2004. "Predatory Trading," NBER Working Papers 10755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004. "Predatory Trading," CEPR Discussion Papers 4639, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bernadette A. Minton & René Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2005.
"How Much Do Banks Use Credit Derivatives to Reduce Risk?,"
NBER Working Papers
11579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Minton, Bernadette A. & Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2005. "How Much Do Banks Use Credit Derivatives to Reduce Risk?," Working Paper Series 2005-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
- Duffee, Gregory R. & Zhou, Chunsheng, 2001.
"Credit derivatives in banking: Useful tools for managing risk?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 25-54, August.
- Gregory R. Duffee & Chunsheng Zhou, 1997. "Credit derivatives in banking: useful tools for managing risk?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Gregory R. Duffee and Chunsheng Zhou., 1999. "Credit Derivatives in Banking: Useful Tools for Managing Risk?," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-289, University of California at Berkeley.
- Duffee, Gregory R. & Zhou, Chunseng, 1999. "Credit Derivatives in Banking: Useful Tools for Managing Risk?," Research Program in Finance, Working Paper Series qt7g67n911, Research Program in Finance, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
- George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
- James R. Thompson, 2007. "Credit Risk Transfer: To Sell or to Insure," Working Papers 1131, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2005.
"Credit risk transfer and contagion,"
CFS Working Paper Series
2005/25, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
- Ajay Subramanian & Robert A. Jarrow, 2001. "The Liquidity Discount," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 447-474.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1136. 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: (Mark Babcock)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.