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A Case Study on Long-tail Risks and Risk Mitigation in Risk Management: How can AGCS make best use of risk mitigation measures for drafting product liability policy wordings?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A Case Study on Long-tail Risks and Risk Mitigation in Risk Management.  

How can Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) make best use of risk mitigation measures for drafting product liability policy wordings? A case study on Triclosan as a possible Endocrine Disruptor with the potential for Mass Litigation.

 

With external forces, the insurance industry has been facing issues since before  9/11 but the evolvement of risk managers and risk management programs in organizations has become a standard for all corporations due to the realization of the potential impact these external forces and risks possibly possess. These programs have emerged to reduce the risk and uncertainty factor that organizations are facing. The factors have been identified in previous literature, as the regulation through authorities (Carroll et al., 2016), the customer relationship that to a certain degree even embraces risk (Kerr, 2016), the agency risk in risk taking (Eling & Marek, 2013). In terms to prepare for these risks, the corporations need to go through a rescaling of their business which was associated with the establishment of Risk Management Processes on all levels (Thislethwaite and Wood, 2018). As such, the rescaling in general can be seen as a Risk Management (RM) structure that would framework the communication of risk in a company.

 

The insurer AGCS is studied on its Risk Management (RM) processes, especially in the fourth phase of RM which is the phase of risk mitigation or reduction. Here it has previously been identified there being no other possible ethical actuarial mitigation methods for long-tail risks (Carroll et al., 2016). Therefore, a risk with such categories was studied with the study on Triclosan. Triclosan is a widely spread and commonly used chemical substance with certain and uncertain causations that can pose several risks with one of them being the possibility of mass litigation. The underwriter tool to mitigate such long-tail risks has been defined as the policy wording which can be used to create an optimal contract in the product liability insurance to reduce the risk of mass litigation. 

 

To answer the above research question, this study has taken an interpretivist stance and the form of a quantitative study to follow the framework of Yin’s (2009) case study approach. With the goal to research the meaning behind a phenomenon, rather than to quantify a phenomenon, the use of semi structured interviews with experts of the insurance industry was conducted. These experts were found in the departments of Allianz Risk Consulting, Underwriting, and Claims. 

 

The findings, similarly to the previous research that has been discussed in the introductory chapter, found that there are certain macro forces that shape the risk mitigation phase and here the influence on the policy wording within was touched upon. It was found that regulations do play a vital part and pose as leverage for the insurer and a pillar that would carry the weight of policy wording. It has further been identified that the costumer relationship and the costumer strength in the market are responsible for a functioning risk mitigation and also that certain demands stemming from the market, will shape the product liability insurance. While the more specific answer to the research question was, yes, the corporate insurer should cover triclosan related risks on a claims-made basis, with serial-loss clause and a retroactive date, there would be other factors that influence the policy wording. The grounded theory that has been established in this research is thus; 

 

To manage liability insurance coverage for long-tail risks, product liability policy wording language needs to reflect main pillars as being used for comparable base materials. This includes but is not limited to claims made trigger, retro-active dates and other coverage elements. Macro forces and drivers of the policy wording, include but are not limited to, costumer strength, market demand, risk perception and market regulations. To ensure a successful risk management on an enterprise level for coverage of long-tail risks, the above factors have to be accounted for when offering product liability coverage.

 

Based on the aforementioned theory, Triclosan is a manageable risk from a corporate liability insurers perspective, hence insurance coverage can be given under product liability policy wordings.

 

Here it is proposed that further research be conducted on the identified macro forces and their impact on the product liability insurance and the more general RM in organizations. Also, it is proposed to research such a possible framework for including the costumer in the process of risk mitigation in terms of reducing the risks form where they start with the starting point being at the costumer. This is a future vision that as such would need further research to reach scientific saturation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 86
Keywords [en]
Insurance, Risk Management, Long-tail Risk, Policy Wording
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150522OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150522DiVA, id: diva2:1237745
External cooperation
Anonymous
Educational program
International Business Program
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-08-10 Created: 2018-08-09 Last updated: 2018-08-10Bibliographically approved

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