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Gauging the impact of a low-interest rate environment on German life insurers

Author

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  • Kablau, Anke
  • Wedow, Michael

Abstract

A low interest rate environment can pose a key risk to the life insurance sector. A deteriorating return on investment holdings jeopardizes the guaranteed return on life insurance contracts. In this paper, we examine the effect of low interest rates on German life insurers by applying various adverse scenarios to a simple model of life insurers' balance sheets. A low return on investment can lead to a depletion of the bonus and rebate provisions. As a result, life insurers resilience may deteriorate. By way of this analysis, we can model approximately when the bonus and rebate provisions will be depleted.

Suggested Citation

  • Kablau, Anke & Wedow, Michael, 2011. "Gauging the impact of a low-interest rate environment on German life insurers," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2011,02, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp2:201102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elsas, Ralf & Krahnen, Jan Pieter, 1998. "Is relationship lending special? Evidence from credit-file data in Germany," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1283-1316, October.
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    5. Schmieder, Christian & Memmel, Christoph & Stein, Ingrid, 2007. "Relationship lending: empirical evidence for Germany," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2007,14, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    6. Herrera, Ana María & Minetti, Raoul, 2007. "Informed finance and technological change: Evidence from credit relationships," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 223-269, January.
    7. Degryse, Hans & Van Cayseele, Patrick, 2000. "Relationship Lending within a Bank-Based System: Evidence from European Small Business Data," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, pages 90-109.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Belke, Ansgar, 2013. "Impact of a Low Interest Rate Environment - Global Liquidity Spillovers and the Search-for-yield," Ruhr Economic Papers 429, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Henry, Jérôme & Kok, Christoffer & Amzallag, Adrien & Baudino, Patrizia & Cabral, Inês & Grodzicki, Maciej & Gross, Marco & Halaj, Grzegorz & Kolb, Markus & Leber, Miha & Pancaro, Cosimo & Sydow, Matt, 2013. "A macro stress testing framework for assessing systemic risks in the banking sector," Occasional Paper Series 152, European Central Bank.
    3. Berdin, Elia, 2016. "Interest rate risk, longevity risk and the solvency of life insurers," ICIR Working Paper Series 23/16, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    4. Elia Berdin & Helmut Gründl, 2015. "The Effects of a Low Interest Rate Environment on Life Insurers," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 40(3), pages 385-415, July.
    5. Berdin, Elia & Pancaro, Cosimo & Kok Sørensen, Christoffer, 2016. "A stochastic forward-looking model to assess the profitability and solvency of European insurers," SAFE Working Paper Series 137, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    6. Kablau, Anke & Weiß, Matthias, 2014. "How is the low-interest-rate environment affecting the solvency of German life insurers?," Discussion Papers 27/2014e, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Ansgar Belke, 2013. "Impact of a Low Interest Rate Environment - Global Liquidity Spillovers and the Search-for-yield," Ruhr Economic Papers 0429, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Kablau, Anke & Weiß, Matthias, 2014. "Wie wirkt sich das Niedrigzinsumfeld auf die Solvabilität der deutschen Lebensversicherer aus?," Discussion Papers 27/2014, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    9. Focarelli, Dario, 2017. "Why Insurance Regulation is Crucial for Long-term Investment and Economic Growth," SEP Working Papers 2017/1, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0429 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life insurance; low-interest rate environment; financial stability;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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