Accumulation (insurance)

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An accumulation ( latin cumulus , "accumulation") is in the insurance industry before when a single loss event causes many policyholder an insurer a simultaneously damage suffered.


When insured event a damaging event occurs that triggers the obligation of an insurer. As a rule, this damaging event only affects a specific individual policyholder, for example the theft of a vehicle in motor insurance (individual risk of damage ). However, there are cases in which several policyholders from the same insurer who are not related to each other are hit by the same damaging event. If the occurrence of damage or the realization of an event also causes damage to other insured risks, it is considered an accumulation. Classic example of this accumulation loss is the hailstorm of Munich of 12 July 1984, the euro caused an overall insured loss of about 750 million.. Other examples are to neighboring building cross- fire in the fire insurance , large-scale floods or storms .

economic aspects

Accumulations are due to the fact that one of the criteria of insurability is not met, namely the independence of the insured loss distributions among each other. In addition to the risk of contagion and the risk of major losses or catastrophes, the accumulation risk is one of the random risks. The random risk is defined as the random deviation between the actual loss experience and the statistically expected loss experience due to an especially large number of losses or large losses. Even with the risk of contagion , damage to several policyholders is triggered by the same event, but not at the same time, but staggered in time. Examples are contagious diseases that spread as an epidemic .

Elementary insurance and insurers with high market shares in this type of insurance or with high insurance density in a region are particularly at risk from accumulation risks . Accumulation risks are usually not foreseeable ( natural disasters due to climate change ) and are therefore difficult to calculate. In personal insurance, accumulation risks can often only be noticed in the event of damage. Cumulative damage sums lead to a significantly negative gross actuarial result .

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were a particular accumulation risk . The aggregation of the risks resulted from a single event that triggered an insured event in homeowners insurance , business interruption insurance , aircraft insurance , life insurance, and liability and health and reinsurance . A dispute broke out here on the legal question of whether the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers when granted on 18 July 2001 preliminary coverage by Swiss Re as one or two claims ( english occurrences were) to be considered, so that the insurance is either 3.5 Billion US $ or 7 billion US $. The courts ruled that there was only one insured event.

Accumulation analysis and accumulation control

The main objective of Kumulanalyse is the probable maximum loss ( English probable maximum loss to determine PML). The accumulation control includes the recording of the interdependent liabilities. It is intended to provide information that enables the insurer to take action against the threat posed by accumulations. This accumulation risk can be reduced, for example, through reinsurance ( facultative reinsurance ), insurance securitization through catastrophe bonds or an increase in the deductible .

Individual evidence

  1. German Actuarial Association e. V. (Ed.), Insurability of Risks in Non-Life Insurance , September 2017, p. 17
  2. Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth / Alfons Weiß / Werner Consten / Peter Präve (eds.), VersicherungsAlphabet (VA) , 2019, p. 485 f.
  3. Dieter Farny , Versicherungsbetriebslehre , 1989, p. 29
  4. Tristan Nguyen, Handbook of Value and Risk-Oriented Management of Insurance Companies , 2008, p. 11
  5. Fred Wagner (ed.), Gabler Versicherungslexikon , 2017, p. 525
  6. Fred Wagner (ed.), Gabler Versicherungslexikon , 2017, p. 525
  7. Christian Wenninger, Market and Credit Risks for Insurance Companies , 2004, p. 21
  8. ^ Walter Karten / Martin Nell / Andreas Richter / Jörg Schiller, Risk and Insurance Technology , 2018, p. 116
  9. Hans-Bernd Kleeberg, Flood Management , 2004, p. 59
  10. Mark Herbrich, Cumulative Control , 1992, p. 15