Category Archives: Risk

Exploring solutions for student loan debt

The years following high school have always been a time of uncertainty for students choosing to pursue post-secondary education. The choices regarding college and choosing a major have big implications on a student’s career trajectory, not to mention financial situation, for years to come.

The growing uncertainty concerning the format of higher education due to COVID-19, the post-graduate job market, and the long-term impact of student debt leaves many individuals wondering if they will ever earn enough to free themselves from student loan debt.

This landscape presents significant opportunity for insurtechs and traditional insurance carriers to create sustainable solutions that capture a portion of the $1.54 trillion student loan market, while also providing students with post-graduation financial stability. Milliman’s Andrew Groth and Katherine Pipkorn explore some solutions to the student loan crisis in this article.

Credit risk modeling for risk-neutral valuations

Until recently, many companies limited stochastic valuation of options and guarantees to interest rate risk and equity risk. In reality, credit risk is an important risk factor that has often been neglected. The volatility of credit spreads can be an important contributor of the cost of options and guarantees, particularly for products with guaranteed surrender values. In many countries, regulators used to look at this issue quite liberally, but this attitude has started to change, which has led to an increased focus on this risk.

In this paper, Milliman’s Grzegorz Darkiewicz, Ed Morgan, and Aldo Balestreri look at the way joint interest rate and credit risk for risk-neutral valuation are typically offered by providers of Economic Scenario Generators.

Increased economic risk from COVID-19 puts pressure on mortgage performance in Q1 2020, but losses not expected to rise to global financial crisis level

Milliman today announced the first quarter (Q1) 2020 results of the Milliman Mortgage Default Index (MMDI), which shows the latest monthly estimate of the lifetime default risk of U.S.-backed mortgages. Default risk is driven by various factors, including the risk of a borrower taking on too much debt, underwriting risk (such as loan term, loan purpose, and other influential mortgage features), and economic risk as measured by historical and forecast home prices. The goal of the MMDI is to provide a benchmark to understand trends in U.S. mortgage credit risk.

During Q1 2020, the economic component of default risk for government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) acquisitions (purchased and refinanced loans backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) climbed 20 basis points—a 40% increase—as a result of housing pressure from COVID-19. For Ginnie Mae loans, which have a higher level of borrower risk relative to GSEs, economic risk jumped 80 basis points—an increase of 33%.

Despite the increased economic risk in Q1, the MMDI for GSE loans decreased to an estimated average default rate of 2.02%, down from 2.06% in Q4 2019. This means that the average lifetime probability of default for all Freddie or Fannie mortgages originated in Q1 2020 was 2.02%. The lower quarterly default risk in the face of economic pressure is because, as interest rates continued to decline, less risky refinance loans offset an increase in default risk for purchase loans. For Ginnie Mae acquisitions, however, the MMDI rate increased from 10.29% in Q4 2019 to 10.48% in Q1 2020. Beginning in 2014, Ginnie Mae has experienced a credit score drift relative to GSE and increased economic risk from COVID-19.

While we anticipate that the large number of unemployment claims will translate to an increase in mortgage delinquency rates, default rates (i.e., the number of borrowers who lose their homes) will likely not be as severe as during the global financial crisis, thanks to the robust home price growth we saw over the past several years.

The models used in Milliman’s MMDI analysis rely on home prices to forecast default rates, and do not rely on unemployment rates, nor do they have specific adjustments for special legislative actions or programs such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

For more information on the MMDI, click here.

Critical Point examines COVID-19 and the mortgage credit risk market

In this episode of Critical Point, Milliman consultants Chris Harner and Michael Schmitz discuss mortgage credit risk and market trends in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode is the first in a two-part series on credit risk. The next episode will look at the potential that cyberattacks may increase within the financial sector as a result of the pandemic.

To listen to other episodes of Critical Point, click here.

Considerations for climate risk metrics

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), the G20-supported Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the United Kingdom’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have all published various papers and statements aiming to encourage companies to disclose the impact of climate change on their business. The emphasis is felt across the board with regulators aiming to ensure that both firms and individuals are able to take into account the risks of climate change when making financial decisions. In this paper, Milliman professionals explore what metrics are most useful to insurance companies when considering the risks and effects of climate change.

Critical Point takes a look into the costs and risks associated with black lung disease

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicates that the rate of black lung disease is going up. Black lung disease is also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, and it’s brought on from inhaling coal dust and working in a coal mine. According to the CDC, black lung cases in miners are the highest they’ve been since recordkeeping began in the early 1970s.

In this episode of Critical Point, Milliman’s Christine Fleming and Travis Grulkowski discuss what these statistics mean for companies and insurers looking to manage this risk for their employees.

To listen to other episodes of Critical Point, click here.