The Design of Private Reinsurance Contracts
Posted: 28 Jul 2000
This paper examines the effect of asymmetric information on the trading of underwriting risk between insurers and reinsurers and how it is mitigated in a context of long-term relationships. It begins by explaining how information problems affect the efficiency of the allocation of risk between insurers and reinsurers, and how long-term implicit contracts allow the inclusion of new information in the pricing of reinsurance coverage. A key feature of these relationships is the reliance on loss-contingent rebates and commissions in the pricing of reinsurance coverage. We argue that when information is revealed only over time, long-term implicit contracts between insurers and reinsurers allow the inclusion of new information in to reinsurance pricing. Because of this feature, the allocation of risk between insurers and reinsurers is more efficient. Specifically, such arrangements lead to more reinsurance coverage, higher insurer profits, and lower expected distress in the industry.
JEL Classification: G22, G13, L15, D81
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