On valuing participating life insurance contracts with conditional heteroscedasticity

Tak Kuen Siu, John W. Lau, Hailiang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we consider a novel approach for the fair valuation of a participating life insurance policy when the dynamics of the reference portfolio underlying the policy are governed by an Asymmetric Power GARCH (APGARCH) model with innovations having a general parametric distribution. The APGARCH model provides a flexible way to incorporate the effect of conditional heteroscedasticity or time-varying conditional volatility and nests a number of important symmetric or asymmetric ARCH-type models in the literature. It also provides a flexible way to capture both the memory effect of the conditional volatility and the asymmetric effects of past positive and negative returns on the current conditional volatility, called the leverage effect. The key valuation tool here is the conditional Esscher transform of Bühlmann et al. (1996, 1998). The conditional Esscher transform provides a convenient and flexible way for the fair valuation under different specifications of the conditional heteroscedastic models. We illustrate the practical implementation of the model using the S&P 500 index as a proxy for the reference portfolio. We also conduct sensitivity analysis of the fair value of the policy with respect to the parameters in the APGARCH model to document the impacts of different conditional volatility models nested in the APGARCH model and the leverage effect on the fair value. The results of the analysis reveal that the memory effect of the conditional volatility has more significant impact on the fair value of the policy than the leverage effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-275
Number of pages21
JournalAsia-Pacific Financial Markets
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • APGARCH model
  • Conditional Esscher transforms
  • Conditional heteroscedasticity
  • Default option
  • Leverage effect
  • Memoryness
  • Participating life insurance policies

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