Liabilities ceded by life insurers to shadow reinsurers (i.e., less regulated off-balance sheet entities) grew from $11 billion in 2002 to $363 billion in 2012. Companies that are involved in shadow insurance, which capture 50 percent of the market share, ceded 28 cents of every dollar insured to shadow reinsurers in 2012, up from 2 cents in 2002. Our adjustment for shadow insurance reduces risk-based capital by 49 percentage points (or 3 rating notches) and raises expected loss by at least $15.7 billion for the industry. We develop a structural model to estimate the impact of shadow insurance on the equilibrium supply in the retail market. In the absence of shadow insurance, marginal cost would rise by 1.8 percent, and annual insurance underwritten would fall by $1.4 billion at unit demand elasticity.
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