For the Circular File

It’s Pi Day (3.14.2018), the holiday invented by algebra teachers desperate for an excuse to snack on cheese balls during the last bleak days of winter.  Celebrate with something circular: 

  • bounce your kids on a parachute tarp,
  • treat yourself to pie after dinner (key lime, please),
  • or maybe visit the local Ford dealer to have your steering wheel reattached…

Yep, that’s right.  Ford Motor Company announced a recall (on 3.14, no less) of certain 2014-2018 Ford and Lincoln models for “loose…

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Get Digital

I love analog. 

The precise, punctuated arc of second hand sweeping around a dial. 

The satisfying thunk of a gearshift dropping into second.  

Wide white margins with room to scribble notes.

Except when it comes to insurance underwriting.  On this topic, we can’t Get Digital fast enough.

What does it mean to Get Digital?

One way to think about digital is to contrast it with what’s not:

  • Telematics mileage, day & time are digital;  Vehicle Make, Model & Use are analog.
  • Roof Pitch; #…
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What Comes Next?

The damage is done.  The winds have calmed and the waters have receded.  The modeling firms rushed to be the first and loudest with their damage estimates.  Adjusters are writing checks, and reinsurers are measuring the dents in their balance sheets.  The financial impact could have been worse, for sure, but the 2017 hurricane season will be bad enough.  Now what happens?

Immediate post-hurricane is something of an uncertain time for underwriters, product managers and strategists.  The claims…

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How GOOD Is Your Data?

Your reinsurers want to know.   And so does your board of directors, if they were paying attention to John DeMartini’s excellent presentation at last week’s NAMIC Convention.

Mr. DeMartini, Executive Vice President of JLT Re, didn’t ask how MUCH data you have, or how MANY records in your dataset.  More is always better than less, but there’s only so much an insurer can do about sample size.  He didn’t ask how smart your analysts are, or how many variables are in your GLM, or how colorful your…

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I Wanna Go Fast !!!

707 horsepower.  Chrysler calls the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with optional Hellcat engine “the most powerful muscle car ever”.  It’s so bad, Dodge engineers had to punch out a headlight to funnel more air under the hood.  With the Hellcat, Chrysler has a model to compete with Ford’s Mustang Shelby GT500 (662 hp), and GM’s Camaro ZL1 (580 hp).  By comparison, Honda’s Accord V-6 produces a completely adequate 278 hp, and Toyota’s Prius whines out a smug 134 hp.

All of which got me t...

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Independence Day Hurricane Deja Vu

Exactly 18 years ago, my family's summer vacation on North Carolina's Outer Banks was cut short by Hurricane Bertha.  The Weather Channel was in its infancy and online storm tracking maps did not exist, but I had seen enough tropical storms to recognize the impending mandatory evacuation.  We bailed out a half-day early and got across the bridge before the traffic jam.  Outer Bankers are nice folks, and our mom & pop motel did not charge us for the remainder of our reserved week.


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Why I Like Audits

Audits?  Yikes!  The IRS.  The state insurance department.  Please can I go to the dentist instead?  
Not so fast...  Internal audits, done well, are a great management tool.  For starters, you can't audit without good standards. Before an auditor can evaluate work, the procedures and service requirements and expected practices must be clearly documented.  And the mere presence of documentation, by itself, goes a long way toward establishing consistent applicati...
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