Testing for Hidden Information and Action in Automobile Insurance Market
TMEC 0004 2011
García Rubiano, Juan Pablo
I test the presence of hidden information and action in the automobile insurance market using a data set from several Colombian insurers. To identify the presence of hidden information I find a common knowledge variable providing information on policyholder s risk type which is related to both experienced risk and insurance demand and that was excluded from the pricing mechanism. Such unused variable is the record of policyholder s traffic offenses. I find evidence of adverse selection in six of the nine insurance companies for which the test is performed. From the point of view of hidden action I develop a dynamic model of effort in accident prevention given an insurance contract with bonus experience rating scheme and I show that individual accident probability decreases with previous accidents. This result brings a testable implication for the empirical identification of hidden action and based on that result I estimate an econometric model of the time spans between the purchase of the insurance and the first claim, between the first claim and the second one, and so on. I find strong evidence on the existence of unobserved heterogeneity that deceives the testable implication. Once the unobserved heterogeneity is controlled, I find conclusive statistical grounds supporting the presence of moral hazard in the Colombian insurance market.