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The Supply of Catastrophe Insurance Under Regulatory Constraints

By Robert W. Klein and Paul R. Kleindorfer


Klein and Kleindorfer provide a brief overview of the current extent of their research on this topic. The intent of this research is to empirically address interactions across the multiple stakeholders in the Catastrophe Insurance Business, i.e. homeowners, businesses, insurers, reinsurers, the construction and real estate sector, and regulatory institutions. Their analysis is aimed at addressing three questions: What is the structure and performance of the catastrophe insurance market? How do factors such as, interdependencies, profits, risk exposures, and distribution impact the performance of the market? What is the impact of regulation of this market on pricing adequacy, pricing precision, and financial risk? What is the current state of the market, and what future sustainable states of the market are possible? This paper is primarily devoted to describing what authors consider to be the structural drivers of supply and demand and the impact of regulatory controls. These drivers are: "Demand structure" (i.e. why consumers buy what they do) obviously contains several components. Items such as location, demography, price, policy features such as the presence of absence of bundling, "quality" effects such as perceived solvency and claims processes, and finally, how products are distributed, all impact consumer choice. In addition, consumers have other risk management options open to them, the most obvious being where to live, what type of construction to choose and what type of "mitigation", if any to employ. "Supply Structure" describes how the consumer business of insurance is conducted. Salient features would be the degree of competition, geography, profitability, solvency, exposure, loss costs, marketing costs, organizational form, financial structure, and regulatory/solvency constraints. Obviously, insurance companies attempt to maximize profits in the face of these variables "Regulatory Impact" on such things as pricing adequacy, pricing precision, and financial risk has important effects on all parties. In particular the freedom to manage ones risk exposure is critical to everyone from the individual consumer to the largest company, and regulation may produce. In an analysis to come later, the researchers will utilize detailed premium record data obtained from ISO on insurance transactions, supplemented by information on expected costs for different policies and risk characteristics. The data will, for the first time, provide and empirically grounded understanding of the supply and demand for CAT-related coverage provided in residential insurance policies. The study will seek to identify the factors that most affect supply and demand and the magnitudes of their relative effects, including the pricing of CAT coverage and alternative policy provisions.

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