NU Online News Service, Nov. 5, 11:50 a.m. – Many life insurance companies are considering the advantages and disadvantages of fair value reporting, according to a just-released study from LOMA, Atlanta, of the managerial and technical issues associated with this approach to financial accounting.

“The need for meaningful financial information has never been more important and is a subject of great interest in the actuarial and accounting professions,” says J. Peter Duran, an partner with Ernst & Young L.L.C., New York, and author of the report. “Executives need information that captures the economic substance of new and evolving products, investment vehicles and management techniques, and many are evaluating which financial reporting system–if any–can deliver. Fair value reporting is a promising solution.”

The study, “Fair Value Reporting for Life Insurers,” probes fair-value reporting in the life insurance industry, explores alternative approaches, and examines the arguments for and against them. It focuses on the practical use of a fair-value system, in particular what it says about the economic health of an enterprise and the reasons for its changing financial condition.