Woodard, Joshua D.

By: Woodard, Joshua D.; Sherrick, Bruce J.; Schnitkey, Gary D.
This study examines the actuarial implications of the loss cost ratio (LCR) ratemaking methodology employed by the Risk Management Agency as a component of base rates for U.S. crop insurance programs, and identifies specific conditions required for the LCR methodology to result in unbiased rates when liabilities trend. Specifically, constant relative yield risk resulting in growing absolute variance through time and other restrictive requirements are required for the LCR to result in unbiased rates. These requirements are tested against a large farm-level data set for Illinois corn. Our findings indicate that the conditions required for appropriate use of the LCR methodology are violated for this high premium volume market, resulting in large implied rate biases. The process does not correct itself through time with the addition of longer rating periods as sometimes claimed. A simple correction function is suggested and demonstrated.
By: Woodard, Joshua D.; Garcia, Philip
Previous studies identify limited potential efficacy of weather derivatives in hedging agricultural exposures. In contrast to earlier studies which investigate the problem at low levels of aggregation, we find that better weather hedging opportunities may exist at higher levels of spatial aggregation. Aggregating production exposures reduces idiosyncratic risk, leaving a greater proportion of the total risk in the form of systemic weather risk which can be effectively hedged using relatively simple weather derivatives. The aggregation effect suggests that the potential for weather derivatives in agriculture may be greater than previously thought, particularly for aggregators of risk such as reinsurers.