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Two related trends have created novel challenges for managing risk in the United States. The first trend is a series of dramatic changes in liability law as tort law has expanded to assign liability to defendants for reasons other than negligence. The unpredictability of future costs induced by changes in tort law may be partly responsible for the second major trend known as the 'liability crisis' - the disappearance of liability protection in markets for particularly unpredictable risks. This book examines decisions people make about insurance and liability. An understanding of such decision making may help explain why the insurance crisis resulted from the new interpretations of tort law and what to do about it. The articles cover three kinds of decisions: consumer decisions to purchase insurance; insurer decisions about coverage they offer; and the decisions of the public about the liability rules they prefer, which are reflected in legislation and regulation. For each of these three kinds of decisions, normative theories such as expected utility theory can be used as benchmarks against which actual decisions are judged.
Statistics published by the U. S. Department of Commerce (1980) indicate that in 1977 we spent 8. 1% of our gross national product (GNP) on life, health, property-casualty, and other forms of insurance. An additional 5. 7% was used to pay the Social Security tax, which is another form of insurance premium, for a total of 14. 8% of the GNP. Although insurance had its historical origin in marine insurance, it has now developed into one of the major industries of the American economy and extends into many areas of economic activity. One area where growth has been particularly strong is the medical sector. Health insurance is a major institution in all industrialized countries. It became a government responsibility in 1883 when Bismarck intro- duced a compulsory program of health insurance for industrial workers in Germany. Programs for workers in various industrial and income categories soon followed in other European countries-Austria (1888), Hungary (1891), Norway (1909), Servia (1910), Great Britain (1911), and Russia and Romania (1912) (Rubinow, 1913:250). Programs in these countries were extended in subsequent years, and other countries in Europe followed with their own programs. Consequently, today most industrial countries have universal or near-universal health insurance coverage. In the United States the issue of national health insurance has been seriously debated since just prior to World War I, and polling data since the 1930s show that a substantial majority of the public has been supportive of such a program (Erskine, 1975).
Focussing on life insurance and pensions, this book addresses various aspects of modelling in modern insurance: insurance liabilities; asset-liability management; securitization, hedging, and investment strategies. With contributions from internationally renowned academics in actuarial science, finance, and management science and key people in major life insurance and reinsurance companies, there is expert coverage of a wide range of topics, for example: models in life insurance and their roles in decision making; an account of the contemporary history of insurance and life insurance mathematics; choice, calibration, and evaluation of models; documentation and quality checks of data; new insurance regulations and accounting rules; cash flow projection models; economic scenario generators; model uncertainty and model risk; model-based decision making at line management level; models and behaviour of stakeholders.
With author profiles ranging from highly specialized model builders to decision makers at chief executive level, this book should prove a useful resource to students and academics of actuarial science as well as practitioners.