Strauss, Jason David (2008): Uberrimae Fidei and Adverse Selection: the equitable legal judgment of Insurance Contracts.
Download (82kB) | Preview
This paper examines uberrimae fidei (utmost good faith) with adverse selection in an insurance market. If consumers know their risk type (they know their expected loss), and if they understand the concept of uberrimae fidei, adverse selection is completely eliminated. However, if uberrimae fidei is strictly enforced by the courts, insurers have no incentive to do any underwriting whatsoever. Therefore, whether consumers know their risk type or not, and whether they understand uberrimae fidei, is of paramount importance. If consumers don’t know their risk type or don’t understand uberrimae fidei, then the (equitable) non-strict enforcement (judicial ruling) of contracts of insurance can be efficiency enhancing as it can create an ex-ante incentive for insurers to underwrite. With an ex-ante positive probability that a court may rule equitably in favor of the insured, the insurer engages in underwriting as part of its profit maximization objective, helping insureds to discover their risk type and/or educating potential insureds on the requirements of a contract of uberrimae fidei. This paper therefore contributes a new theory of underwriting.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Uberrimae Fidei and Adverse Selection: the equitable legal judgment of Insurance Contracts|
|Keywords:||Insurance, Uberrimae Fidei, Utmost Good Faith, Adverse Selection, Contract Theory, Equity, Equitable Law, Institutions, Insurance Cycle|
|Subjects:||D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D86 - Economics of Contract: Theory
G - Financial Economics > G2 - Financial Institutions and Services > G22 - Insurance ; Insurance Companies ; Actuarial Studies
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information ; Mechanism Design
|Depositing User:||Jason Strauss|
|Date Deposited:||05. Oct 2008 05:43|
|Last Modified:||17. Mar 2015 19:53|
Dixit, A., 2000, “Adverse Selection and Insurance with Uberima Fides,” in Incentives, Organization, and Public Economics: Essays in Honor of Sir James Mirrlees, eds. Peter J. Hammond and Gareth D. Myles, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dixit, Avinash and Picard, Pierre, “On the Role of Good Faith in Insurance Contracting” in Economics for an imperfect world: Essays in honor of Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2003, pp. 17-34, Cambridge and London: MIT Press
Levine, Ross, 1998, “The Legal Environment, Banks, and Long-Run Economic Growth,” Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, 30 (3), 596-613.
Rothschild, M., and J. Stiglitz, 1976, “Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 90: 629-649.
Zazzaro, Alberto, 2005, “Should Courts Enforce Credit Contracts Strictly?” The Economic Journal, 115 (January), 166-184.