Security Is Human

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I felt compelled to disprove the cliche that insurance is dull almost a year ago.

In that blog piece, I criticized the notion that any industry that deals with every conceivable danger that people, families, businesses, and communities confront could be regarded as dull.

 

 

Today, as I get back to work after spending two days in Las Vegas at the Society of Insurance Research (SIR) annual conference, I feel similarly compelled to dispel a different myth: the idea that the insurance industry is disconnected from everyday issues because of its emphasis on statistical analysis and the financial aspects of risk.

 

I got it.

Nobody’s quant is me.

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I probably thought like this before I got into this large numbers business.

I might even revert to it occasionally if the conversations become a little too actuarial for my too talkative personality.

 

 

Mike Meyers, SIR president and principal competitive analyst at USAA, used a phrase in his opening remarks that struck me as a little corny.

He described the conference, which was SIR’s first significant in-person event since the outbreak, as a “family reunion.”

But as things went on, it truly did feel that way.

Though it wasn’t for most of the attendees, it was my first time attending a SIR event in person.

 

The group of more than 200 people exuded warmth and familiarity.

 

 

It goes without saying that there would be a lot of “numbers talk” and debate about “leveraging technology to improve loss experience” at this gathering of insurance industry researchers.

But during all of the panels and one-on-one chats, the human element was always present.

Nothing about these conversations was cold or soulless, regardless of the subject matter—whether it was the difficulties of researching diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) in the insurance industry or how COVID-19 has impacted small firms’ risk profiles.

 

 

 

A correlation between driving safety and fuel consumption statistics was found in a discussion of auto safety statistics.

The fact that safer drivers consume less fuel and hence have a positive influence on the environment was highlighted by just one single chart.

The conclusion that automotive telematics technology, which aids insurers in more correctly pricing coverage and generates financial incentives to drive more safely, also aids in emissions reduction is not a large leap.

Who wouldn’t want to save both cash and the environment?

 

The lecture on smart plumbing would have thrilled you as much as it did me, especially if you’ve ever had to repair an entire ceiling (I have!) due to a long, sluggish, undiscovered leak above.

More exciting was the insurer’s win-win strategy, which offers the policyholder the simple technology free of charge and pays for a plumbing inspection if the diagnostic app detects a potential leak.

Large headaches for the homeowner were avoided, future large claims were avoided for the insurance!

 

 

Although I may not be an economist, an actuary, a data scientist, or any of the other outstanding quantitative experts for whom insurance is renowned, I am delighted the business gathers and systematically applies these resources to such modest difficulties on a large scale.

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