Despite the importance of insurance in enabling individual and collective social, economic, and financial activities, discussions about the macroeconomic role and risks of insurance markets are surprisingly limited. This book brings together academics, regulators, and industry experts to provide a multifaceted array of research and perspectives on insurance, its role and functioning, and the potential systemic risk it could create.
The first part discusses the macroeconomic role of insurance and how insurance is different from banking and general finance. Understanding the differences between the balance sheets of insurers and other financial intermediaries is essential for understanding the potential differences in risk nature and optimal regulation. The second part of the book focuses on the risks managed by the insurance sector and the potential for systemic risk. The chapters discuss the risks both on the asset and liability sides of insurers’ balance sheets. The third part of the book covers the impact of regulation on insurance companies. Existing regulation is often complex and has a large impact on insurance companies’ decision-making and functioning. The chapters also illustrate the unintended consequences of various forms of regulation. The book concludes with a summary of a survey that has been conducted in collaboration with McKinsey, where insurance executives have been asked about the risks and
regulation in the insurance sector. The survey provides guidance for future research on insurance markets.