33Accounting for Insurance Contracts

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions of Terms
  3. Insurance Contracts
    1. Insurance risk
  4. Recognition and Measurement Guidance
    1. Adequacy of insurance liabilities
    2. Impairment testing of reinsurance assets
    3. Selection of accounting principles
    4. Unbundling
    5. Recognition
    6. Discretionary participation features in insurance contracts
    7. Embedded derivatives
  5. Disclosure
  6. Future Developments
    1. Phase II of the IASB Insurance Project
  7. US GAAP Comparison


IFRS 4, Insurance Contracts, mainly addresses the identification of insurance contracts by an entity that issues these contracts—which is not limited to insurance companies—and limited other recognition and measurement issues. It applies to insurance contracts issued, reinsurance contracts held, and financial instruments issued with a discretionary participation feature. The matter of the actual accounting for insurance contracts is not addressed in IFRS 4, but is the subject of the IASB's insurance project, which would incorporate IFRS 4 if a new standard is issued.

Sources of IFRS

Definitions of Terms

Cedant. The policyholder under a reinsurance contract.

Deposit component. A contractual component that is not accounted for as a derivative under IFRS 9 and would be within the scope of IFRS 9 if it were a separate instrument.

Direct insurance contract. An insurance contract that is not a reinsurance contract.

Discretionary participation feature. A contractual right to receive, as a supplement to guaranteed ...

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