• If we are going to have a group of consumers of our products who are satisfied with what they get, we have to meet their expectations.
  • Obviously, there are two adjustment points whereby that can be accomplished.
    • One is that you can change the outcome to match the expectations.
    • The other is to change the expectation to match the outcome.

-- Robert E. Wilcox - Chairman of the Life Disclosure Working Group (NAIC)

1994 - SOA - Problems and Solutions for Product Illustrations, Society of Actuaries - 28p

Conflicts between Foundations and the Views of the Public

  • The foundations of actuarial science are not so esoteric or so abstruse that the average well-informed business person has great difficulty in  understanding them.
  • There are, however, points at which the actuarial view and that of the general public can come into conflict.
  • Actuaries will do well to recognize where these potential trouble spots are, and to do what they can to resolve misunderstandings.  (p78)

1989 - SOA - Fundamental Concepts of Actuarial Science - Charles L. Trowbridge - 90p

We have to get out of our mode of talking about these policies in language that can only be understood by the person who wrote the language.

  • I find, after 30 years plus of experience in the life insurance business, that there is jargon used in illustrations that I don't understand.
  • I can have difficulty in taking an illustration and figuring out what in the world the authors are trying to illustrate and how they are doing it.

--  Robert E. Wilcox - Chairman of the Life Disclosure Working Group (NAIC)

1994 - SOA - Problems and Solutions for Product Illustrations, Society of Actuaries - 28p


It is of great importance at the present moment that sound principles on the subject of insurance should be widely and rapidly disseminated.

  • Whether they act by producing conviction, or opposition, a step is equally gained:
    • nothing but indifference can prevent the public from becoming well acquainted with all that is essential for it to know on a subject, of which, though some of the details may be complicated, the first principles are singularly plain. 

1838 - Book - An Essay on Probabilities, and Their Application to Life Contingencies and Insurance Offices, Augustus De Morgan

The mystery of life insurance! 

  • Why, there is not the least mystery in it.
  • The only mystery is, how it has managed to live so long on the reputation of having a mystery, which it has not.  [Laughter] (p128)

--  Mr. Bryant - (actuary of the New York Insurance Department)

  • My attention was incidentally called to the subject of life insurance some year and a half ago, and when I found upon what a peculiar and very simple theory it is based, I was utterly amazed to think how little the thing was generally understood, and that the insuring public were utterly ignorant of what it was all about.
  • The committee of which I am chairman has before it for consideration this peculiar element of life insurance which I refer to, and I think if the members of the committee will closely attend to and study over that matter, they will have different views when they come back of the theory of life insurance from those which they had when they came here.  (p128)

-- Gustavus W. Smith - (Kentucky Insurance Commissioner)

1871-1, NAIC Proceedings