We examine the relation between loss reserving errors, leverage and reinsurance in the UK's property-casualty insurance industry. We find that financially weak insurers under-estimate reserves to reduce leverage, and so pre-empt costly regulatory scrutiny. However, at very high leverage, insurers over-reserve, suggesting a non-linear relation between leverage and reserving policy. We also investigate whether monitoring by reinsurers reduces reserving errors, and find that highly reinsured insurers are less likely to make loss reserve errors. However, the use of proportional reinsurance does not affect loss reserve accuracy.
- loss reserves
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