Alternative Valuation Models and the Valuation Parameters of Property-Casualty Insurers' Share Prices

By Elizabeth A. Demers
1997| Working Paper No. 1438

This paper examines the value-relevance of various balance sheet items and earnings streams to the share prices of property-casualty (“P&C”) insurance companies under several alternative valuation model specifications. This study extends previous research by providing evidence related to both the incremental value-relevance and the relative information content of fair values versus historical cost figures for financial assets. I also introduce the use of dual valuation models, which specifies P&C firm value as a function of stock component of value (investment assets) and a flow component of value (the underwriting earnings stream), and document the relative informativeness of alternative asset-based, earnings-based, and dual valuation models for the same P&C industry sample. The results are generally consistent with the hypothesis that fair values of financial assets are both incrementally value-relevant and have relatively more information content than historical cost measures with respect to the cross-sectional variation in P&C insurers’ share prices. Also as hypothesized, the dual model is more informative with respect to P&C share prices than either of the asset-only or earnings-only models. This latter finding suggests that the stock and flow components in the dual model are capturing different aspects of P&C company value.