Variation in organizational form across lines of property insurance: Sweden, 1913-1939
2014 (English)In: Financial History Review, ISSN 0968-5650, E-ISSN 1474-0052, Vol. 21, no 1, 77-101 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article examines the impact of organizational structure on risk taking across different lines of property insurance (fire, marine, vehicle and specialized property insurance) in Sweden from 1913 to 1939. Based on the theoretical arguments whereby the mutual organizational form has a competitive advantage in underwriting homogeneous but unknown risk distribution, while the stock organizational form is more likely to underwrite more volatile and heterogeneous risk categories, we conclude that organizational form has a significant impact on risk taking. Our empirical analysis shows that the risk taking, measured as incurred claims to anticipated losses, was on average lower among mutual insurers. When comparing across lines of insurance, the analysis shows that the mutual form was more successful in keeping down risks in fire and marine, while less so in vehicle and specialized property insurance. Stock companies mitigated the higher risk by ceding more premiums to reinsurers and by diversifying more across different lines of insurance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2014. Vol. 21, no 1, 77-101 p.
Insurance, organizational form, risk
Research subject Economic History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87825DOI: 10.1017/S0968565014000031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-87825DiVA: diva2:711710