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The "Financialisation" of Non-Life Insurance: The Impact of the New Accounting and Prudential Standa [extrait BMI 100]

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The introduction of new accounting standards (IFRS, Conseil National de la Comptabilité in France 2007) and prudential standards (solvency II, Conference of the Insurance Supervisory Services of the Member States of the European Union, 2002) is bringing about a radical change in the operational context of insurance companies which, in order to be in fully integrated, have a great deal to do in terms of information and assimilation. Indeed, these standards are constructed from a purely financial point of view of insurance based on a portfolio approach, the components of which are valued with reference to the market ? the fair value principle ? and where the control of profitability/risk is the major concern. The relevance of this approach has long been recognised within the academic community of course (Biger & Kahane 1978 ; Fairley 1979 ; Loubergé 1981 ; Cummins & Chang 1983). Nevertheless, it is out of tune with a technical point of view, stemming from the weight of actuarial science within the profession, which seems to be still dominant in the area of non-life insurance. Moreover, the numerous difficulties involved in implementing these new standards have made some experts doubt their suitability (Duverne and Le Douit, 2008; Flamée, 2008), which is an additional brake on the transformation which is to take place. It seems essential today to take stock of the current situation in non-life insurance and to describe its characteristics from a financial point of view in compliance with these new standards, using portfolio theory as a reference, and at the same time to shed light on the thorny aspects of implementation.

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Extrait de la revue BMI 100


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