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Why insurance works better with some adverse selection

Tapadar, Pradip, Thomas, R. Guy (2018) Why insurance works better with some adverse selection. In: International Congress of Actuaries, 4-8 Jun 2018, Berlin, Germany.

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Regulatory restrictions on insurance risk classification are a common feature of personal insurance markets. Whilst such restrictions appear motivated by social objectives, they may also induce adverse selection. This is usually perceived as a disadvantage, both for insurers and for society. We suggest a counter-argument to this perception in circumstances where modest levels of adverse selection lead to an increase in ‘loss coverage’, defined as expected losses compensated by insurance for society as a whole. This happens if the shift in coverage towards higher risks more than offsets the fall in number of individuals insured. The possibility of this outcome depends on insurance demand elasticities for higher and lower risks. We state elasticity conditions which ensure that for any downward-sloping insurance demand functions, loss coverage when all risks are pooled at a common price is higher than under fully risk-differentiated prices. We also discuss some empirical evidence on insurance demand elasticities, and some limitations of the loss coverage concept. For a more discursive treatment, see our recent book Thomas (2017) and papers (Hao et al. (2016, 2016a, 2016b)).

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science > Actuarial Science
Depositing User: Pradip Tapadar
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 09:24 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 20:40 UTC
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