Abstract - Capital Allocation for Insurance Companies: What Good is it? (with H. Schmeiser)

In their 2001 Journal of Risk and Insurance article, Stewart C. Myers and James A. Read, Jr., propose to use a specific capital allocation method for pricing insurance contracts. We show that in their model framework no capital allocation to lines of business is needed for pricing insurance contracts. In the case of having to cover frictional costs, the suggested allocation method may even lead to inappropriate insurance prices. Beside the purpose of pricing insurance contracts, capital allocation methods proposed in the literature and used in insurance practice are typically intended to help deriving capital budgeting decisions in insurance companies, such as expanding or contracting lines of business. We also show that net present value analyses provide better capital budgeting decisions than capital allocation in general.

Helmut Gründl
Humboldt-Universität Berlin
31.Jan 2006

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