, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 129-149

Insurance and ownership structure in India’s corporate sector

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In this study we examine the effect of ownership structure on the decision of Indian firms to purchase property insurance. We find that firms with a high degree of managerial ownership and leverage, plus firms with high growth options, high asset tangibility, and public listing status are more likely to insure their assets than other entities. We also observe that different factors determine the amount of property insurance purchased, in particular, the higher the degree of managerial ownership and indebtedness the less indemnity coverage acquired. Additionally, the younger the firm the greater the amount of insurance purchased. We contend that our results shed light into the strategic risk management behavior of Indian firms and that such insights could be of relevance to various parties, including international and domestic business investors.

We acknowledge the help and support of Chen Lin and Joe Hong Zou during the course of this study. This paper also benefited from the comments of participants at the British Accounting Association (BAA) Conference, Dundee, UK, April 2009 and the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA) Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, US, August 2009. However, the usual disclaimer applies.