Property-Casualty Insurance Guaranty Funds And Insurer Vulnerability To Misfortune
This paper presents evidence that the enactment of insurance guaranty fund statutes induced managers of covered insurers to take actions that shifted risk to the guarantor. The mechanism for risk- shifting was a decrease in reserves. The strongest evidence appears for Commercial Multi-Peril insurance, where the enactment of a guaranty fund is associated with a significant decline in a state's loss ratio. Similar effects appear in Homeowners' coverage, although the evidence is not as strong as for Commercial Multi-Peril coverage. The observed decline in the loss ratio is not explained by other factors such as state regulation, investment yields, or time-related trends. The observed decline is too large to be explained by the level of guaranty fund assessments. A concluding section of the paper discusses a pricing method for guaranty fund coverage that could diminish any rewards arising from understatement of future claims. The design of a pricing system could benefit by applying lessons from bank deposit insurance as well as the insurance industry's experience with pricing methods designed to create incentives for loss prevention.
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