The effects of a low interest rate environment on life insurers : [version july 2014]

  • Low interest rates are becoming a threat to the stability of the life insurance industry, especially in countries such as Germany, where products with relatively high guaranteed returns sold in the past still represent a prominent share of the total portfolio. This contribution aims to assess and quantify the effects of the current low interest rate phase on the balance sheet of a representative German life insurer, given the current asset allocation and the outstanding liabilities. To do so, we generate a stochastic term structure of interest rates as well as stock market returns to simulate investment returns of a stylized life insurance business portfolio in a multi-period setting. Based on empirically calibrated parameters, we can observe the evolution of the life insurers' balance sheet over time with a special focus on their solvency situation. To account for different scenarios and in order to check the robustness of our findings, we calibrate different capital market settings and different initial situations of capital endowment. Our results suggest that a prolonged period of low interest rates would markedly affect the solvency situation of life insurers, leading to relatively high cumulative probability of default for less capitalized companies.

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Metadaten
Author:Elia Berdin, Helmut GründlGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-347774
URL:http://ssrn.com/abstract=2480330
Parent Title (English):SAFE working paper series ; No. 65
Series (Serial Number):SAFE working paper series (65)
Publisher:SAFE
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Year of Completion:2014
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/09/02
Tag:Interest Rate Guarantees; Life Insurers; Risk Assessment; Solvency II
Issue:version july 2014
Page Number:54
HeBIS-PPN:348929625
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / House of Finance (HoF)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht