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The determinants of reinsurance in the Swedish property fire insurance market during the interwar years, 1919–39
Centre for Risk and Insurance Studies, University of Nottingham, Nottingham,.
Swansea University, UK.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3293-2318
2010 (English)In: Business History, ISSN 0007-6791, E-ISSN 1743-7938, Vol. 52, no 2, 268-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing a framework from agency theory, we use a panel data design to examine the factors motivating the level of demand for reinsurance in the rapidly developing Swedish property fire insurance market during the interwar period 1919–39. We find that as hypothesised, reinsurance enabled Swedish fire insurers to mitigate underwriting and solvency risks and thus increased their capacity to underwrite new business in uncertain economic times. This in turn helped to increase the supply of indemnity coverage for property (buildings) fire risks in the Swedish insurance market. We also find that as expected, investment earnings are inversely related to reinsurance purchases. However, contrary to what was hypothesised, reinsurance appears to be positively related to liquidity levels, suggesting that over our period of analysis, fire insurers could have been reinsuring to ‘protect’ earnings and accumulated cash reserves therefore enabling investment opportunities to be realised. Analysis of the sub-period 1919–28 further supports this contention, while our results for the economic depression years after 1929 show that reinsurance helped mitigate underwriting and insolvency risks, suggesting that the reinsurance decision of fire insurance companies could be motivated by macroeconomic factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2010. Vol. 52, no 2, 268-284 p.
Keyword [en]
interwar period, Sweden, fire insurance, reinsurance
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33038DOI: 10.1080/00076791003610683ISI: 000277492700005OAI: diva2:309679
The historical development of the Swedish insurance industry
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P2006-0679:1-E
Available from: 2010-04-08 Created: 2010-04-08 Last updated: 2015-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Lars FredrikLindmark, Magnus
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