Systemic Risk and Regulation of the U.S. Insurance Industry
Forthcoming, Journal of Risk and Insurance
52 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 24, 2014
This chapter analyzes the characteristics of U.S. insurers for purposes of determining whether they are systemically risky. More specifically, primary indicators and contributing factors associated with systemic risk are assessed for the insurance sector. A distinction is made between the core activities of insurers (e.g., underwriting, reserving, claims settlement, etc.) and their non-core activities (such as providing financial guarantees). Statistical analysis of insurer characteristics and their relationship with a well-known systemic risk measure, SRISK, is provided. The core activities of property-casualty insurers are found not to be systemically risky. However, we find evidence that some core activities of life insurers, particularly separate accounts and group annuities, may be associated with systemic risk. The non-core activities of both types of insurers can contribute to systemic risk. The study also finds that insurers may be susceptible to intra-sector crises such as reinsurance crises arising from counterparty credit risk. New and proposed state and federal regulations are reviewed in light of the potential for systemic risk for this sector.
Keywords: insurance regulation, systemic risk, reinsurance, SRISK, systemically important financial institution, insurance insolvencies
JEL Classification: G21, G22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation