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- Health Shock Risk, Critical Illness Insurance, and Housing Services, Insurance: Mathematics and Economics 91, 111-128, 2020
ABSTRACT: This paper studies a consumption-investment problem involving health shock risk, perishable consumption, and consumption of housing services. Additionally to a risk-free asset and a stock index, the agent can invest in real estate. I analyze the impact of health shocks on the optimal consumption and investment decisions in model specifications with and without the possibility to buy critical illness insurance. I discuss the influence of critical illness insurance on the optimal strategy and analyze the drivers of the optimal critical illness insurance demand. The results indicate that health shock risk has potentially devastating consequences, especially for young agents. It turns out that critical illness insurance is an excellent instrument for hedging health shock risk and for consumption smoothing across different health states. Optimal critical illness insurance demand is decreasing in financial wealth and increasing in human wealth. Real estate prices have a minor influence on optimal critical illness insurance demand.
- Life Insurance Demand under Health Shock Risk (with Holger Kraft, Lorenz S. Schendel, and Mogens Steffensen), Journal of Risk and Insurance 84, 1171-1202, 2017. Online Appendix
ABSTRACT: This paper studies the life cycle consumption-investment-insurance problem of a family. The wage earner faces the risk of a health shock that significantly increases his probability of dying. The family can buy long-term life insurance that can only be revised at significant costs, which makes insurance decisions sticky. Furthermore, a revision is only possible as long as the insured person is healthy. A second important feature of our model is that the labor income of the wage earner is unspanned. We document that the combination of unspanned labor income and the stickiness of insurance decisions reduces the long-term insurance demand significantly. This is because an income shock induces the need to reduce the insurance coverage, since premia become less affordable. Since such a reduction is costly and families anticipate these potential costs, they buy less protection at all ages. In particular, young families stay away from long-term life insurance markets altogether. Our results are robust to adding short-term life insurance, annuities and health insurance.