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Multiple Losses, Ex-Ante Moral Hazard, and the Non-Optimality of the Standard Insurance Contract

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Breuer

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Abstract

Under certain conditions the optimal insurance policy will offer full coverage above a deductible, as Arrow and others have shown long time ago. Interestingly, the same design of insurance policies applies in case of a single loss and ex-ante moral hazard. However, many insurance policies provide coverage against a variety of losses and the possibilities for the insured to affect the probabilities of each possible loss might be substantially different. The optimal design of a insurance contract providing coverage against different losses therefore should generally differ from the standard form under moral hazard. The paper concentrates on the conditions under which the standard insurance contract holds under moral hazard and more than one loss. It gives some evidence that many insurance contracts should be split up. The main result is, that the relative changes of probabilities due to precautious activities are decisive. On the other hand, under moral hazard it is rarely ever optimal to combine two losses in one insurance contract prescribing only a single deductible for both losses if both losses can occur simultaneously.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Breuer, 2003. "Multiple Losses, Ex-Ante Moral Hazard, and the Non-Optimality of the Standard Insurance Contract," SOI - Working Papers 0302, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0302
    as

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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp_soi/wp0302.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Buehler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin & Benz, Men-Andri, 2004. "Infrastructure quality in deregulated industries: is there an underinvestment problem?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 253-267, February.
    2. Andreas Polk, 2002. "Multilateral Agreement On Investments (MAI) - A Critical Assessment From an Industrial Economics Point of View," SOI - Working Papers 0201, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2002.
    3. Borek, Thomas & Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects - Mergers under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Yves Schneider & Peter Zweifel, 2004. "How Much Internalization of Nuclear Risk Through Liability Insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 219-240, December.
    5. Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Subjektive Daten in der empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung: Probleme und Perspektiven," SOI - Working Papers 0207, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2002.
    6. Thomas Borek & Stefan Buehler & Armin Schmutzler, 2002. "Weddings with Uncertain Prospects � Mergers under Asymmetric Information," SOI - Working Papers 0213, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2004.
    7. Zava Aydemir & Stefan Buehler, 2002. "Estimating Vertical Foreclosure in U.S. Gasoline Supply," SOI - Working Papers 0212, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    insurance; multiple losses; moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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