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Cboe Tools and Resources for the Insurance Industry

Cboe's exchange-traded options and futures products offer the insurance industry the benefits of:

  • Clearance of transactions is guaranteed by Options Clearing Corporation
  • Price and Quote Transparency
  • Independent Daily Valuation
  • Liquidity for Leading Options and Futures Contracts
  • Competitive Auction Markets
  • Marketplaces Regulated by SEC or CFTC

Cboe FLEX Options and the CFLEX Platform

FLexible EXchange® Options (FLEX Options) are customized equity or index option contracts which provide the ability to customize key contract terms, like exercise prices, exercise styles and expiration dates, without the administrative requirements of ISDA agreements. Of particular interest to EIA writers, options contracts with non-standard expirations and strike prices set at end of day can be created daily. For VA writers, current maximum term is 15 years from trade date. For information on Index FLEX options, click here. For Equity FLEX options, click here.

The CFLEX platform, launched by Cboe in 2007, is the first Internet-based, fully-automated, electronic FLEX options trading system in the U.S. The CFLEX system offers FLEX users a host of benefits, including significantly reducing costs, establishing clearing transparency and counterparty anonymity, and offering point-and-click execution of FLEX trades. For more information or to schedule a demo click here.

VIX, the Cboe Volatility Index

The Cboe Volatility Index® (VIX®) is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices. Since its introduction in 1993, VIX has been considered by many to be the world's premier barometer of investor sentiment and market volatility. Introduced by Cboe in 2004 and 2006, respectively, listed VIX futures and options can be used in conjunction with standard futures to replicate insurance liabilities. Click here for information on VIX. For information on VIX futures, click here.

Long Dated Volatility Pricing

The pricing of long dated volatility is an issue for insurers, especially in light of FAS 157 requirements. For US exchange listed options (and other instruments including some futures) the Options Clearing Corporation provides daily valuation for standard and non-standard strikes and expirys. See the White Papers and Abstracts section below for a description of the OCC methodology for estimating implied volatility for FLEX (includes long-dated) options.

White Papers and Abstracts

Risk Management Overlay Strategies
Tying a Variable Annuity Fee to VIX
Hedge Execution Comparison Test White Paper for FIA Carriers
Estimating Implied Volatility for FLEX Options, John A. Dodson, The Options Clearing Corporation.
Gimmel: Second Order Effect of Dynamic Policyholder Behavior on Insurance Products with Embedded Options, By John J. Wiesner, Charles L. Gilbert and David L. Ross. Copyright 2010 by the Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Illinois. Posted with permission.
Static Hedging of Asian Options under Levy Models: The Comonotonicity Approach, Hansjorg Albrecher, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria; Jan Dhaene, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Marc Goovaerts, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Wim Schoutens, K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Volatility Exposure for Strategic Asset Allocation, M. Briere, A. Burgues and O. Signori, Centre Emile Berheim working paper, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

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