Early warning system for the European insurance sector

This article proposes an Early Warning System model composed of macro-financial and company-specific indicators that could help to anticipate a potential market distress in the European insurance sector. A distress is defined as periods in which insurance companies’ equity prices crash and CDS spreads spike simultaneously. The model is estimated using a sample of 43 insurance companies that are listed. Based on a panel binomial logit specification, empirical evidence shows that economic overheating that could be manifested by high economic growth and inflation as well as high interest rates have negative impact on insurance sector stability. At the company level, increasing operating expenses increase the likelihood of distress occurrence.