Optimal Reinsurance Designs: from an Insurer’s Perspective
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The research on optimal reinsurance design dated back to the 1960’s. For nearly half a century, the quest for optimal reinsurance designs has remained a fascinating subject, drawing significant interests from both academicians and practitioners. Its fascination lies in its potential as an effective risk management tool for the insurers. There are many ways of formulating the optimal design of reinsurance, depending on the chosen objective and constraints. In this thesis, we address the problem of optimal reinsurance designs from an insurer’s perspective. For an insurer, an appropriate use of the reinsurance helps to reduce the adverse risk exposure and improve the overall viability of the underlying business. On the other hand, reinsurance incurs additional cost to the insurer in the form of reinsurance premium. This implies a classical risk and reward tradeoff faced by the insurer. The primary objective of the thesis is to develop theoretically sound and yet practical solution in the quest for optimal reinsurance designs. In order to achieve such an objective, this thesis is divided into two parts. In the first part, a number of reinsurance models are developed and their optimal reinsurance treaties are derived explicitly. This part focuses on the risk measure minimization reinsurance models and discusses the optimal reinsurance treaties by exploiting two of the most common risk measures known as the Value-at-Risk (VaR) and the Conditional Tail Expectation (CTE). Some additional important economic factors such as the reinsurance premium budget, the insurer’s profitability are also considered. The second part proposes an innovative method in formulating the reinsurance models, which we refer as the empirical approach since it exploits explicitly the insurer’s empirical loss data. The empirical approach has the advantage that it is practical and intuitively appealing. This approach is motivated by the difficulty that the reinsurance models are often infinite dimensional optimization problems and hence the explicit solutions are achievable only in some special cases. The empirical approach effectively reformulates the optimal reinsurance problem into a finite dimensional optimization problem. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the second-order conic programming can be used to obtain the optimal solutions for a wide range of reinsurance models formulated by the empirical approach.