To the insurance industry, cash flows can be generated through underwriting activities, financing and investing choices, and even managing risks; consequently modeling cash-flow risks will be on a dynamic basis process because it is essential to forecasting and managing financial and underwriting risks. To model the cash-flow risks specific to the insurance industry, we have to capture the dynamics of the cash-flow–generating process of an insurer. The cash-flow–generating process can be characterized by two major components: (1) the earnings that result from core activities and cannot be modified and (2) other profits that can be modified through the dimensions of investment choices, risk management, and financial policies. In addition, the factors underlying the cash-flow–generating process may be intertwined and thus under the generating process can present the risks to the extent of cash-flow level. For instance, the downside risk of a company can be signaled by an abnormal decrease in operating cash flows. Moreover, the discrepancy of the magnitude and timing of the cash flows generated from underwriting insurance policies andthose generated from investment activities create cash-flow uncertainty and risks to insurance firms.
For insurance firms, cash flows generated from investment, underwriting, and risk management activities are important indicators in financial management and are the key variables in capital budgeting decisions. Hence, these generated cash flows will provide internally interacting feedback on determining the insurers’ strategies of underwriting, risk management, and investment from time to time. Correspondingly, cash-flow processes and cashflow risks demonstrate their dynamic characteristics.
Statement of the problem
Cash is king. It is true for entrepreneurs, and it is also true for managers of financial institutions. Cash-flow risks have long been one of the most essential factors while managing a variety of risks, particularly for the insurance industry, which faces unique underwriting risks not observed in other industries.
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