Accession Number : ADA290096

Title :   Insurer Failures: Life/Health Insurer Insolvencies and Limitations of State Guaranty Funds.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIV

PDF Url : ADA290096

Report Date : 28 APR 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 10

Abstract : GAO is testifying today on its recent report on the increasing failures of life/health insurance companies and the adequacy of protections for policyholders whose insurers fail. The rate of failures for life/health insurance companies has increased substantially, as have the costs of such failures to state guaranty funds, policyholders, and taxpayers. Insolvencies in the industry averaged about five per year from 1975 through 1982. Since then, the average per year has more than tripled to almost 18, with 47 occurring in 1989 and 27 in 1990. The funds' assessments of insurers have increased more than ninefold from the period 1975-1982 to the period 1983-1989, from a total of about $50 million to a total of about $455 million. While the costs of failures are covered initially by state guaranty funds' assessments of insurance companies, most states allow insurers to recover their assessments through tax offsets or rate increases. Therefore, the costs of failures are transferred to taxpayers and policy holders. The increasing failures of life/health insurers have raised concerns about disturbing gaps in the collective 'patchwork' safety net for policyholders. Although all states except the District of Columbia have guaranty funds, variations in state rules cause gaps and significant differences in coverage; specifically: There are different rules governing who is protected. Funds differ in the types of policies and annuities they protect. (KAR)

Descriptors :   *FAILURE, *INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH, *INSURANCE, *BANKRUPTCY, TEST AND EVALUATION, INDUSTRIES, POLICIES, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, RATES, COSTS, LIMITATIONS, SAFETY, PROTECTION, MONEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Economics and Cost Analysis
      Sociology and Law
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE