Risk based capital for insurers the u s system
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Risk-Based Capital for Insurers: The U. S. System. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Association of chief regulators in 50 states, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Established in 1875 to enhance coordination between states

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Risk based capital for insurers the u s system

Risk-Based Capital for Insurers: The U. S. System


National association of insurance commissioners naic

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Association of chief regulators in 50 states, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Established in 1875 to enhance coordination between states

Maintains common database

Has no authority in and of itself – regulatory powers reside with members


Historical development

Historical Development

  • RBC Formulas Developed During 1990s

    • Life Formula Introduced In 1993

    • P&C Formula Introduced in 1994

    • Health Organizations Formula Introduced in 1998

  • Same Time Frame Saw a Variety of Initiatives Including FAST, Accreditation, Accounting Changes

  • Significant Input From Industry On Design Of Formula And Formula Components

    • American Academy of Actuaries

    • Interested Parties

    • Regulators

    • NAIC Staff

  • RBC Is Only One Component In Regulatory Toolbox


  • The naic rbc system

    THE NAIC RBC System

    Risk-Based Capital Formulas

    • Life Insurer Version

    • Property/Casualty Version

    • Health Organizations Version

    • Fraternal Version

      Risk-Based Capital for Insurers Model Act Serves As A Guide for State Laws

      Risk-Based Capital Law In Each State Makes System Operational

      NAIC Produces Common Formula By Agreement But Regulatory Powers Reside With States

      RBC Is Meant To Streamline Regulatory Process, Not To Introduce New Regulatory Powers


    Purpose of regulatory capital

    Purpose of Regulatory Capital

    • To ensure that the insurer does not use excessive financial leverage

    • To reasonably guaranty that the insurer’s promises are met

    • To allow timely intervention in case of financial distress

    • To conserve the remaining assets in the wake of financial distress to an insurer

    • To avoid unreasonable interference with the financial decisions and management of the insurer


    Other capital standards

    Other Capital Standards

    • Significant Developments in Tandem with NAIC RBC

    • Regulatory Purpose is to Establish Minimum Standards while Rating Agency Purpose is to Establish Qualitative Standards

    • Regulatory Capital Standards Can And Do Differ Significantly From An Insurer’s Own Internal Capital Standards And From Standards Set By Private Rating Agencies


    Minimum capital standards

    Minimum Capital Standards

    • Vary From State to State

    • Generally Range From $1 Million to $2 Million

    • Multi-line Requirements Are Usually Less Than Aggregate Monoline Requirements

    • Can Include "Experience" Factor for Longevity

    • In Some States, a Variable Minimum Standard Is Applied With Some Recognition of Risk

    • Minimum Is Material to Most Companies Because of Size But Immaterial to Large Companies That Make Up Bulk of Industry Volume

    • RBC System Is a Complement to State Minimums


    Regulatory minimum rbc

    Regulatory Minimum RBC

    Regulatory minimum RBC standards are set at minimum levels so as to impose a floor level of safety on the operations of an insurance company

    System allows companies freedom to operate as long as capital exceeds the regulatory minimum

    Minimizes market disruptions by non-managers while still maintaining minimum safety levels

    Regulatory minimum standard makes comparisons between companies inappropriate

    Regulatory minimum is NOT “best” capital amount


    Problems with common standards

    Problems With Common Standards

    • "One Size Fits All" Approach Must Be Applied Uniformly To All Companies

    • Reliance On Accounting Values

    • Not All Risks Accounted For

      • Simplicity Tradeoffs

      • Measurement Errors

      • Political Considerations

    • Each Component is Material to Someone

    • Regulatory Approaches Differ

    • Concerns About State Sovereignty


    Basic naic formula computation

    Basic NAIC Formula Computation

    • Apply risk factors against annual statement values (factor approach) or use proprietary data (internal review approach)

    • Sum risk amounts and adjust for statistical independence

    • Calculate Authorized Control Level Risk-Based Capital (ACL RBC) amount, which is the amount of capital necessary to avoid automatic regulatory intervention

    • Compare ACL RBC to Total Adjusted Capital (TAC)


    Major categories of risk in the life formula

    Major Categories of Risk in the Life Formula

    C0 – Affiliates Risk

    C1cs-- Asset Risk – Unaffiliated Common Stock

    C1o – Asset Risk – Other Assets

    C2 – Insurance Risk

    C3a – Interest Rate Risk

    C3b – Health Credit Risk

    C4a – General Business Risk

    C4b – Administrative Expense Risk


    Life industry aggregate rbc by size

    Life Industry Aggregate RBC By Size

    Source: NAIC Research Quarterly April 1997, page 37


    The rbc ratio determines the action level according to state statute

    The RBC Ratio Determines the Action Level According To State Statute

    • NAIC RBC standard is a minimum standard that is GRADUATED so that regulators have freedom and discretion to deal with troubled insurers.

    • Definition of “financial impairment” is now codified

    • Total Adjusted Capital (Actual Capital) is divided by Authorized Control Level RBC (Hypothetical Minimum Capital) to get the RBC Ratio

      • No Action (98% of companies) -- TAC/RBC over 200%

      • Company Action Level -- TAC/RBC is 150% to 200%

      • Authorized Control Level -- TAC/RBC is 70% to 100%

      • Mandatory Control Level -- TAC/RBC is less than 70%


    Company action level

    Company Action Level

    • Insurer submits a comprehensive financial plan that:

      • Identifies conditions that led to financial problems

      • Contains proposals to correct financial problems

      • Provides projections future financial conditions

      • Lists key assumptions underlying the projections

      • Identifies problems areas and quality areas of insurer's business

    • Insurer is expected to comply automatically with these provisions, or drop to the Regulatory Action Level


    Regulatory action level

    Regulatory Action Level

    Insurer is required to file an action plan as required under the Company Action Level. In addition, the state insurance commissioner is required to perform any examinations or analyses of the insurer’s business and operations deemed necessary. The state insurance commissioner issues appropriate corrective orders to address the company’s financial problems.


    Authorized control level

    Authorized Control Level

    • This is the first point at which the state insurance commissioner is authorized by law to take control of the insurer – the first point at which the insurer is technically insolvent.

    • This authorization is in addition to the remedies available at the higher action levels.

    • The insurance company should still be have more assets than liabilities (capital greater than zero)

    • Commissioner is authorized to take control, but not required to take control

    • Maximizes Commissioner's discretion.


    Mandatory control level

    Mandatory Control Level

    • State insurance regulator is required to take steps to place the insurer under regulatory control

    • Requirement protects all policyholders by imposing an absolute limit on regulatory discretion

    • Insurer may still be solvent, with assets greater than liabilities, but in many cases insurer is fully bankrupt

    • All regulatory remedies under other action levels apply here as well

    • Appeals process is included in Model Law to ensure due process


    Capital to assets and rbc to assets by size groups

    Capital-to-Assets and RBC-to-Assets By Size Groups

    Life Companies

    Life Companies

    Source: NAIC Research Quarterly April 1995


    Variations in capital by size

    Variations in Capital By Size

    Smaller insurers have much greater variation in capital than larger insurers, which is why they already hold more capital. The degree to which capital can move is also a function of size. RBC is meant to establish a floor level of capital, not an average or optimal.


    Omissions from regulatory rbc

    Omissions From Regulatory RBC

    • Not All Risks Are Accounted For In The Formula (e.g., Liquidity Risk)

    • Measures Of Risk Are Continually Refined (e.g., Interest Rate Risk)

    • Some Risk Measures Are Inappropriate For A Public, REGULATORY MINIMUM Formula Approach (e.g., Management Quality)

    • Awareness Of Risks Included AND Excluded Is Primary Benefit Of On-Going Formula Development


    Conclusions regarding naic s regulatory minimum rbc formula

    Conclusions Regarding NAIC’s Regulatory Minimum RBC Formula

    • It is better than what existed before

    • It is part of A comprehensive toolbox

    • Most criticism of the NAIC RBC formula is based on its inability to predict insolvency, but that is not how it is designed and is not the underlying purpose

    • Complexity does not mean accuracy, but does enhance awareness

    • Simplicity tradeoffs often produce an equal, if not better, measurement of risk in a regulatory formula

    • Primary benefit has been increased awareness of risk by all parties as well as greater information sharing between industry players


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