Quantitative Assessment of Common Practice Procedures in the Fair Evaluation of Embedded Options in Insurance Contracts
28 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2016 Last revised: 28 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 13, 2017
This work analyses the common industry practice used to evaluate financial options written on with-profit policies issued by European insurance companies.
In the last years regulators introduced, with the Solvency II directive, a market consistent valuation framework for determining the fair value of asset and liabilities of insurance funds.
A relevant aspect is how to deal with the estimation of sovereign credit and liquidity risk, that are important components in the valuation of the majority of insurance funds, which are usually heavily invested in treasury bonds.
The common practice is the adoption of the certainty equivalent approach (CEQ) for the risk neutral evaluation of insurance liabilities, which results in a deterministic risk adjustment of the securities cash flows.
In this paper, we propose an arbitrage free stochastic model for interest rate, credit and liquidity risks, that takes into account the dependences between different government bond issuers.
We test the impact of the common practice against our proposed model, via Monte Carlo simulations.
We conclude that in the estimation of options whose pay-off is determined by statutory accounting rules, which is often the case for European traditional with-profit insurance products, the deterministic adjustment for risk of the securities cash flows is not appropriate, and that a more complete model such as the one described in this article is a viable and sensible alternative in the context of market consistent evaluations.
Keywords: Minimum Guaranteed Fund, Segregated Insurance Fund, Embedded Options, Credit Risk, Liquidity Risk
JEL Classification: C0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation