Willis Re hosted a seminar in New York City this past Wednesday titled Casualty for Construction Risks: Economic, Market and Claims Trends That Are Shaping The Competitive Landscape. The event was very successful and oversold. I would like to think it was because those attending learned I was going to give a command presentation. The truth is that I was the token policyholder attorney.

Reinsurance executives are generally a bright bunch or really good at faking it. Pete Thomas of Willis is one of the brightest; a very deep thinker, yet humble. He is the Chief Risk Officer at Willis Re. I have met and spoken with him at a number of conferences. Following my speech, he sent me an email that stated in part:

I am…attaching the paper that I wrote for DRI’s Annual Meeting last December. In retrospect, it was a little silly of me to present to a room full of lawyers my high level lay view of the social and demographic forces that drove the evolution and development of 20th Century tort law in the United States. My premise is that theoretical revolution envisioned by early and mid-20th Century legal scholars; the development of a broad based insurance market that made the judicial abandonment of no-duty and immunity rules practical; and the rise of the US middle class over sixty years coalesced into a radically different underwriting environment. An underwriting environment that accident and occurrence insurance (and reinsurance) underwriters did not anticipate. As a practitioner, my further speculation is that the social, academic, professional and demographic forces that made that the US “tort” revolution possible are still active today in the United States, the developed world and the “emerging” global and soon to be middle class countries. I argue that insurance and reinsurance risk managers need to take a prospective view of such trends and risks when contemplating their strategic plans and mitigating and hedging strategies. [emphasis added]

Anybody interested in the social aspect of insurance, the art of coverage and forecasting future events should consider his views. Pete Thomas’ paper, The Art of Coverage is attached here.

My speech was titled Trends Involving All Risks Coverage and Claims from the Policyholders Perspective. The PowerPoint presentation is attached here for my super nerdy insurance colleagues with nothing else to do on a Friday.