Economic Valuation Models for Insurers
Recently much attention has been given to the approaches insurers undertake in valuing their liabilities and assets. For example, in 1994 the American Academy of Actuaries created a Fair Valuation of Liabilities Task Force to address the issue. In 1997, the Academy established a Valuation Law Task Force and a Valuation Tools Working Group to investigate the various valuation approaches extant and to make recommendations on which models are best suited to the task. Much of the published work has focused on attributes of the various models, their strengths and shortcomings. Some of the work has addressed the larger questions, but in our view, it is useful and necessary to provide a taxonomy of approaches and evaluate them in a systematic way in accordance with how well they achieve their aims. In this paper we focus primarily on the economic valuation of insurance liabilities, although we do address some valuation issues for assets. We begin in Section I by defining insurance liabilities. Next, in Section II, we discuss the criteria for a good economic valuation model. This is followed by a taxonomy of valuation models in Section III. In Section IV, we examine insurance liabilities in the context of this taxonomy and identify the minimum requirements of an economic valuation approach that purports to value them adequately. An illustration of the application of a modern valuation model is given in Section V. We conclude in Section VI by discussing some limitations of our analysis, and offer some recommendations for implementation.
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