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Pricing of Catastrophe Risk and the Implied Volatility Smile

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  • Ben Ammar, Semir

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Abstract

Property-casualty (P&C) insurers are exposed to rare but severe natural disasters. This paper analyzes the relation between catastrophe risk and the implied volatility smile of insurance stock options. We find that the slope is significantly steeper compared to non-financials and other financial institutions. We show that this effect has increased over time, suggesting a higher risk compensation for catastrophic events. We are able to link the insurance-specific tail risk component derived from options with the risk spread from catastrophe bonds. Our results provide an accurate, high-frequency calculation for catastrophe risk linking the traditional derivatives market with insurance-linked securities (ILS).

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Ammar, Semir, 2016. "Pricing of Catastrophe Risk and the Implied Volatility Smile," Working Papers on Finance 1617, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2016:17
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/sfwpfi/WPF-1617.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Ammar, Semir & Eling, Martin & Milidonis, Andreas, 2018. "The cross-section of expected stock returns in the property/liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 292-321.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Implied volatility; Options; Catastrophe risk; Tail risk; Natural disasters;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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