Just what are ancillary own funds?

Reading the Financial Soundness Standards for Insurers (FSIs) is an exercise that can only end in madness. I’m sufficiently familiar with them now that I mostly refer back to them for particularly tricky or thorny issues. Without fail, the words fail to clearly communicate exactly what was intended. Take ancillary capital as an example. To […]

Move over cholera, here’s the Black Death

The Black Death, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, wiped out 30 to 50 percent of Europe’s population between 1347 and 1351 Now, South Africa has been placed on high alert for a potential plague infection. Mortality rates are estimated anywhere between 30% and 100% without treatment. Many estimates are towards the top end of this […]

Island Life

There is a Mauritian insurer called Island Life. Best name ever for an insurance company. I firmly believe in anthropogenic climate change. I am not an expert, but my reading has convinced me of the seriousness of the issues, the overwhelming evidence that it is humans at fault. Having young children makes me seriously concerned […]

ERP update – delayed response to a blog reader

I reader asked why so many practitioners use high Equity Risk Premiums in their valuations and fairness opinions. In particular, he mentioned a specific assumption set he had seen including: ERP of 6.8% company specific risk premium of 4% He also commented on how haphazard the use of risk premiums can be and referenced a […]

Book Review: Loss Coverage – Why Insurance Works Betters with Some Adverse Selection

In his book, Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection, Guy Thomas propose an interesting point that adverse selection may not be as harmful as many actuaries believe. They actually go further and suggest that, at least from a policy perspective, adverse selection may be a good thing. This is particularly relevant […]

Modelling one side of a two-sided problem

Ah models, my old friends. You’re always wrong, but sometimes helpful. Often dangerous too. A recent article in The Actuary magazine addressed whether “de-risking in members’ best interests?”  I say “recent” even though it’s from August because I am a little behind on my The Actuary reading. In the article, the authors demonstrate that by […]