The Determinants of Financial Health of Asian Insurance Companies
NUS Business School, National University of Singapore
Kie Ann Wong
National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Accounting
Journal of Risk and Insurance, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 469-499, September 2004
Previous studies of financial health of insurance companies are mainly focused on insurers operating in the United States and developed economies. This article focuses on the solvency of general (property-liability) and life insurance companies in Asia using firm data and macro data separately. It uses different classification methods to classify the financial status of both general and life insurance companies. With the exception of Japan, failures of insurers in Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan are nonexistent. We find that, first, the factors that significantly affect general insurers' financial health in Asian economies are firm size, investment performance, liquidity ratio, surplus growth, combined ratio, and operating margin. Second, the factors that significantly affect life insurers' financial health are firm size, change in asset mix, investment performance, and change in product mix, but the last three factors are more applicable to Japan. Third, the financial health of insurance companies in Singapore seems to be significantly weakened by the Asian Financial Crisis. As the insurance industry in different Asian economies is at different stages of development, they require different regulatory guidelines.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Date posted: September 15, 2004