The American Council Life Insurers (ACLI) is suggesting a 3-tier system for classifying derivatives used to hedge insurer asset risk.
The ACLI, Washington, has included that idea in a proposal concerning ways to handle derivatives-based asset hedging strategies in risk-based capital (RBC) calculations.
A derivative is a financial instrument that derives its value from some other financial instrument.
Hedging is a technique used in an effort to reduce financial risk.
The RBC ratio system is a method the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo., and state insurance regulators use to determine whether an insurer has enough capital to support its operations, given the amount of risk it is taking.
Panels at the NAIC have been looking into the possibility of updating the RBC ratio system rules. The NAIC also has been studying the idea of revising Model Regulation 282, which deals with derivatives.
A team at the ACLI led by Walter Givler, a vice president of accounting policy at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, developed the derivatives report in an effort to provide a method for building derivatives-based risk-management programs into the RBC calculations.
The ACLI team notes that its recommendations apply only to “C-1 asset risk,’ or risk resulting from issuer defaults or loss of market value, related to fixed-income securities and common stocks.
The team talks about classifying derivatives in 3 groups:
- Basic hedging strategies, or hedges that pair single assets and derivatives.