Nanotechnology and insurance

A piece I worked on from the CAS Spring Meeting (though I hope I spelled spring right):

Casualty actuaries can help insurers meet the demand for new products by identifying, analyzing and pricing new risks, according to two speakers at the srping meeting of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Since the mid-1980s, casualty insurance has shrunk as a share of gross domestic product. Since then, insurers have been able to push liabilities out of the insurance space, said Parr Schoolman, a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a senior managing director at Aon Benfield. For example, the multi-billion-dollar BP oil spill has been primarily borne by the oil industry.

While that has helped short-term profits, it hurts long-term growth, he said. Many of the 40 largest insurers in the 1980s have disappeared in a bevy of mergers and a few financial flameouts.

To survive, he said, insurers need to learn how to manage new risks, not just exclude them. Actuaries can help, he said, by encouraging companies to use enterprise risk management techniques.

PropertyCasualty360 rewrote the article and added some original reporting. Bob Hartwig and I wrote about nanotech a couple of years ago here (see page 36ff).


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