Capitalization of the Property-Liability Insurance Industry: Overview

Capitalization of the Property-Liability Insurance Industry: Overview The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented decline in leverage ratios in the United States property-liability insurance industry. The premiums-to-surplus ratio, the most commonly used leverage ratio in the industry, fell from its historical average of 2.0 to less than 1.0 by the end of 2000; and the industry-wide capital-to-asset ratio increased from an historical average of about 25% to 35%. The international reinsurance industry also experienced significant capital increases and leverage declines during the 1990s (Cummins and Weiss, 2000).1 These unusual trends raised widespread concerns that the property-liability insurance industry had become over-capitalized (The Economist, 1999; Bowers, 2001; Seifert, 2001). To investigate the growth in capitalization and its potential causes, the Conference on Capitalization in the Property-Liability Insurance Industry was held at the Wharton School in September 2000 under the joint sponsorship of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center and AON. Selected papers from the conference comprise this issue of the Journal of Financial Services Research (JFSR). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Financial Services Research Springer Journals

Capitalization of the Property-Liability Insurance Industry: Overview

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Finance; Financial Services; Macroeconomics/Monetary Economics//Financial Economics
ISSN
0920-8550
eISSN
1573-0735
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1014366800354
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented decline in leverage ratios in the United States property-liability insurance industry. The premiums-to-surplus ratio, the most commonly used leverage ratio in the industry, fell from its historical average of 2.0 to less than 1.0 by the end of 2000; and the industry-wide capital-to-asset ratio increased from an historical average of about 25% to 35%. The international reinsurance industry also experienced significant capital increases and leverage declines during the 1990s (Cummins and Weiss, 2000).1 These unusual trends raised widespread concerns that the property-liability insurance industry had become over-capitalized (The Economist, 1999; Bowers, 2001; Seifert, 2001). To investigate the growth in capitalization and its potential causes, the Conference on Capitalization in the Property-Liability Insurance Industry was held at the Wharton School in September 2000 under the joint sponsorship of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center and AON. Selected papers from the conference comprise this issue of the Journal of Financial Services Research (JFSR).

Journal

Journal of Financial Services ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 5, 2004

References

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