Life insurance and demographic change : an empirical analysis of surrender decisions based on panel data

  • Households buy life insurance as part of their liquidity management. The option to surrender such a policy can serve as a buffer when a household faces a liquidity need. In this study, we investigate empirically which individual and household specific sociodemographic factors influence the surrender behavior of life insurance policyholders. Based on the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), an ongoing wide-ranging representative longitudinal study of around 11,000 private households in Germany, we construct a proxy to identify life insurance surrender in the data. We use this proxy to conduct fixed effect regressions and support the results with survival analyses. We find that life events that possibly impose a liquidity shock to the household, such as birth of a child and divorce increase the likelihood to surrender an existing life insurance policy for an average household in the panel. The acquisition of a dwelling and unemployment are further aspects that can foster life insurance surrender. Our results are robust with respect to different models and hold conditioning on region specific trends; they vary however for different age groups. Our analyses contribute to the existing literature supporting the emergency fund hypothesis. The findings obtained in this study can help life insurers and regulators to detect and understand industry specific challenges of the demographic change.

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Author:Irina Gemmo, Martin GötzGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-487634
URL:https://ssrn.com/abstract=3230274
Parent Title (German):SAFE working paper series ; No. 240, ICIR Working Paper Series ; No. 24
Series (Serial Number):SAFE working paper series (240)
Publisher:SAFE
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Year of Completion:2019
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/02/05
Tag:Demographic Change; Life Insurance Surrender; Liquidity Shock
Issue:December 2016
Page Number:33
HeBIS-PPN:445058870
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