Insurance, bond covenants, and under- or over-investment with risky asset reconstitution

Arthur HAU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional theory predicts that the shareholders of a limited liability company financed partly by bonds may underinvest by not replacing damaged company assets. It also precludes the possibility of overinvestment. By relaxing the restrictive assumption maintained under traditional theory, namely, that the effects of reconstituting damaged assets are nonstochastic, this article shows that both over and underinvestment are possible. It is shown that these moral hazard problems can be mitigated by incorporating appropriate insurance requirements into bond covenants. Moreover, it is shown that the insurance requirements for alleviating underinvestment and overinvestment are quite different. Particularly, for underinvestment, the required insurance only needs to make the bonds riskless in the best asset reconstitution states of the loss states in which the company value falls short of the promised bond repayment; however, for overinvestment, the required insurance should make the bonds totally riskless. The difference in insurance requirements is especially important when insurance is actuarially unfavorable such that more-than-required insurance is always undesirable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Risk and Insurance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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