Risk measurement and management of insurance companies
This thesis reviews some fundamental risk measurement and management concepts that insurance companies will face in the following years. The first chapter evaluates the theoretical and practical framework of the different approaches with respect to the determination of regulatory capital held by insurance companies. A critical assessment and substantial interpretation of these approaches is performed. Moreover, a number of new approaches is brought forward in order to add a more thorough and clear way of evaluating the level of the regulatory capital. Then, we provide evidence of the presence of the underwriting cycle in the UK. The underwriting cycle has been identified in a number of OECD and non-OECD countries and highlights the different stages and maturity of the insurance market. A number of reasons for the presence of this cycle is presented and evaluated in contrast with the reasons behind the underwriting cycle in other countries. The level of profitability of the insurance companies is used to determine the presence of the cycle. In the third chapter, profitability and cost of capital are connected with the credit rating assigned by credit agencies to insurance companies. The credit risk that insurance companies face is explained by the use of financial ratios that explicitly explain the particular credit rating. The credit rating is implicitly connected with the cost of capital, which in turn is explained by the level of the credit spread between the Treasury Yield and European bonds. Finally, securitisation as an alternative method of minimizing credit and market risk is analyzed. Different structures of securitised deals are presented and evaluated. The benefits of securitisation are presented in a systematic way.