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Article

DAVID C. CROSON and HOWARD C. KUNREUTHER

This article examines how reinsurance coupled with new financial instruments can expand coverage to areas exposed to catastrophe losses from natural disasters, and…

Abstract

This article examines how reinsurance coupled with new financial instruments can expand coverage to areas exposed to catastrophe losses from natural disasters, and demonstrates how reinsurance and the catastrophe‐linked financial instruments can be combined to lower the price of protection from its current level. A simple example illustrates the relative advantages and disadvantages of pure catastrophic bonds and pure indemnity reinsurance in supporting a structure of payments contingent on certain extreme events occurring. The authors suggest ways to combine these two instruments using customized catastrophe indices to expand coverage and reduce the cost of protection. This article states six principles for designing catastrophic risk transfer systems and discusses practical issues for implementation, and then concludes with suggestions for future research.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article

Joseph W. Glauber, Keith J. Collins and Peter J. Barry

Since 1980, the principal form of crop loss assistance in the United States has been provided through the Federal Crop Insurance Program. The Federal Crop Insurance Act of…

Abstract

Since 1980, the principal form of crop loss assistance in the United States has been provided through the Federal Crop Insurance Program. The Federal Crop Insurance Act of 1980 was intended to replace disaster programs with a subsidized insurance program that farmers could depend on in the event of crop losses. Crop insurance was seen as preferable to disaster assistance because it was less costly and hence could be provided to more producers, was less likely to encourage moral hazard, and less likely to encourage producers to plant crops on marginal lands. Despite substantial growth in the program, the crop insurance program has failed to replace other disaster programs as the sole form of assistance. Over the past 20 years, producers received an estimated $15 billion in supplemental disaster payments in addition to $22 billion in crop insurance indemnities.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 62 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article

Alexey Turchin and Brian Patrick Green

Islands have long been discussed as refuges from global catastrophes; this paper will evaluate them systematically, discussing both the positives and negatives of islands…

Abstract

Purpose

Islands have long been discussed as refuges from global catastrophes; this paper will evaluate them systematically, discussing both the positives and negatives of islands as refuges. There are examples of isolated human communities surviving for thousands of years on places like Easter Island. Islands could provide protection against many low-level risks, notably including bio-risks. However, they are vulnerable to tsunamis, bird-transmitted diseases and other risks. This paper aims to explore how to use the advantages of islands for survival during global catastrophes.

Design/methodology/approach

Preliminary horizon scanning based on the application of the research principles established in the previous global catastrophic literature.

Findings

The large number of islands on Earth, and their diverse conditions, increase the chance that one of them will provide protection from a catastrophe. Additionally, this protection could be increased if an island was used as a base for a nuclear submarine refuge combined with underground bunkers and/or extremely long-term data storage. The requirements for survival on islands, their vulnerabilities and ways to mitigate and adapt to risks are explored. Several existing islands, suitable for the survival of different types of risk, timing and budgets, are examined. Islands suitable for different types of refuges and other island-like options that could also provide protection are also discussed.

Originality/value

The possible use of islands as refuges from social collapse and existential risks has not been previously examined systematically. This paper contributes to the expanding research on survival scenarios.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article

James G. Pritchett, George F. Patrick, Kurt J. Collins and Ana Rios

Returns to a model farm are simulated to assess the impact of marketing and insurance risk management tools as measured by mean net returns and returns at 5% value‐at‐risk

Abstract

Returns to a model farm are simulated to assess the impact of marketing and insurance risk management tools as measured by mean net returns and returns at 5% value‐at‐risk (VaR). Results indicate that revenue insurance strategies and strategies involving a combination of price and yield protection provide substantial downside revenue protection, while mean net returns only modestly differ from the benchmark harvest sale strategy when considering all years between 1986 and 2000.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 64 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article

Barry Barnett

The purpose of this paper is to examine international experience with multiple-peril crop insurance (MPCI). Named peril crop insurance is available in most countries but…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine international experience with multiple-peril crop insurance (MPCI). Named peril crop insurance is available in most countries but MPCI is less common. While named peril insurance is widely successful, MPCI has a checkered history. In most cases, MPCI actuarial experience has been poor and large premium subsidies have been required to incentivize purchasing.

Design/methodology/approach

International experience with MPCI is reviewed with a particular focus on the USA which has the largest MPCI program in the world. Rationales for government involvement in facilitating MPCI offers are examined and future challenges are explored.

Findings

In most cases, MPCI actuarial experience has been poor and large premium subsidies have been required to incentivize purchasing. MPCI purchasing has increased dramatically in recent years but so have government expenditures to support MPCI programs. Significant challenges remain with providing cost-effective MPCI coverage for crop farmers.

Originality/value

While previous articles have reviewed MPCI in the USA, this paper also considers experiences in other countries. Future challenges and research needs are described.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 74 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a new insurance policy against natural disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose an optimisation model, which involves both the insurer and the farmer. The farmer decides to insure his farm if and only if insurance improves the utility he is expecting over a given year. Therefore, the paper takes the perspective of an insurer who wants to maximise the farmer's wealth, so that he will be more likely to subscribe the policy. The choice and combination of the policies are then determined and designed by the insurer to reach that aim.

Findings

The paper proves that the market for insurance could grow with a combination of participating contracts and market‐based instruments. The first cover individual risks while the second cover systematic risks.

Practical implications

The new policy leads both the insurer to manage small and large risks and the insured to be financially interested. It also provides an optimal coverage against natural events for insured farmers.

Originality/value

The paper offers many perspectives for the renewal of the crop insurance market using new instruments.

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Article

Dmitry V. Vedenov, Mario J. Miranda, Robert Dismukes and Joseph W. Glauber

An economic analysis is presented of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA), the contract governing the relationship between the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and…

Abstract

An economic analysis is presented of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA), the contract governing the relationship between the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and the private insurance companies that deliver crop insurance products to farmers. The paper outlines provisions of the SRA and describes the modeling methodology behind the SRA simulator, a computer program developed to assist crop insurers and policy makers in assessing the economic impact of the Agreement. The simulator is then used to analyze how the SRA affects returns from underwriting crop insurance. The results are presented in aggregate and also at the regional and individual company levels.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 64 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article

William Wilson, Cole Gustafson and Bruce Dahl

Malting barley is an important specialty crop in the Northern Plains and growers mitigate risk with federally subsidized crop insurance and production contracts. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Malting barley is an important specialty crop in the Northern Plains and growers mitigate risk with federally subsidized crop insurance and production contracts. The purpose of this paper is to quantify risks growers face due to “coverage gaps” in crop insurance that result in uncertain indemnity payments when their crop does not meet contract specifications.

Design/methodology/approach

A stochastic dominance model is developed to evaluate alternative strategies for growers with differing risk attitudes and production practices (irrigation vs dryland).

Findings

The results illustrate how alternative crop insurance provisions affect efficient choice sets for growers. Risk premiums for irrigated growers all point to valuations favoring more coverage, contracts, and malting option B. As the crop insurance industry matures in the functions it performs, it will become increasingly more important to address quality attributes.

Originality/value

This paper addresses quality issues and coverage gaps in crop insurance provisions.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 69 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article

Nicholas D. Paulson, Bruce Babcock and Jonathan Coppess

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the growth and rising costs association with the Federal Crop Insurance program in the USA, justifications for public support, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the growth and rising costs association with the Federal Crop Insurance program in the USA, justifications for public support, and recent reforms that have been implemented or proposed to reduce program costs. It also analyzes a specific policy to reduce premium assistance spending.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the Risk Management Agency are used to illustrate historical trends in crop insurance program costs and to analyze the impacts of imposing a per acre cap on premium assistance.

Findings

Imposing a per acre cap on premium assistance could achieve significant savings. A $20 per acre cap is estimated to reduce premium subsidy expenditures by more than 40 percent. However, the impact of such a policy would be most severe on crops currently receiving the largest subsidies per acre, which happen to be some of the largest program crops in the USA.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature analyzing potential reform in crop insurance industry. The subsidy cap considered has been proposed and considered by policy makers, and this paper provides estimates for its potential savings.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 74 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article

Abby ShalekBriski, Wade Brorsen, James K. Rogers, Jon T. Biermacher, David Marburger and Jeff Edwards

The authors determine the effectiveness of the Rainfall Index Annual Forage Program (RIAFP) in offsetting yield risk of winter annual forage growers. The authors also…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors determine the effectiveness of the Rainfall Index Annual Forage Program (RIAFP) in offsetting yield risk of winter annual forage growers. The authors also evaluate the effectiveness in reducing risk of potential alternative weather indices.

Design/methodology/approach

The RIAFP is designed to compensate forage producers when yield losses occur. Prior research found weak correlation between the rainfall index and actual winter annual forage yields. The authors use long-term small-plot variety trials of rye, ryegrass, wheat, triticale and oats with rainfall recorded on site and measure the correlation of the index with actual rainfall and actual yields. The alternative indices include frequency of precipitation events and of days with temperature below freezing.

Findings

The correlation between actual rainfall and the current RMA index was strongly positive as in previous research. Correlations between forage yields and monthly intervals of the current RMA index were mostly statistically insignificant, and many had an unexpected sign. All indices had some correlations that were inconsistent across time intervals and forage variety. The inconsistent signs suggest a nonlinear relationship with weather and forage yield, indicating that rainfall can be too much or too little. The number of days below freezing has the most potential of the three measures examined.

Practical implications

Producers should view the winter forage RIAFP as a risk-increasing income-transfer farm program. A product to reduce the risk for forage producers may need to use a crop growth simulation model or another approach that can capture the nonlinearity.

Originality/value

Considerably more data were considered than in past research. Past research did not consider alternative weather indices. The program should be continued if its goal is to serve as disguised income transfer, but it should be discontinued if its goal is to reduce risk.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 81 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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