Insurance regulators in many jurisdictions still have trouble getting the data and the legal authority they need to take a “bird’s eye” look at the industry.

Officials at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) , Basel, Switzerland, have published that conclusion in a mid-year report on the global reinsurance markets.

The IAIS officials write about the issue of “macroprudential surveillance,” or efforts to look at the big picture, but they acknowledge that most regulators do not have a formal definition of macroprudential surveillance.

Despite that lack, most regulators do try to look at the big picture, and many try to study the effect of changes in economic variables on the insurance market, officials say.

About half of the regulators try to do market-wide stress testing, and 20% of the regulators that do not already perform market-wide stress testing plan to start doing so in the next 12 months, officials say.

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