1 Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Stiftungsprofessur für Versicherung und Regulierung, Geschäftsführender Direktor International Center for Insurance Regulation, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3, 60323 Frankfurt am Main
This paper discusses the effects of the present low interest rate environment on the German life insurance industry. By referring to a recent study of the “International Center for Insurance Regulation”, we assess insolvency probabilities for life insurers with different capital endowments under different interest rate scenarios. Based on that, we discuss measures of insurance regulation that try to cope with the imminent problems of the life insurance industry. Finally, we have a look at product developments and investment strategies of life insurers in the presence of low interest rates. Hereby, life insurance products with lower investment guarantees that are granted for a shorter period of time are regarded as the best remedy to avoid low interest rate problems in the future. Such product development also allows for a more risky investment policy of life insurers that can make life and annuity products more attractive.