1970s - Actuarial - Snippets

  • The consumerists are having a fine time these days with the life insurance industry about which it seems there is nothing favorable to be said.
  • A distinguished member of the Senate* is agitating for a “truth in life insurance” law and this provoked the following comment from one newspaper:
    • “Probably what most insurance policies could use is a terse and lucid summary of precise coverage and options, enabling the purchaser to understand the benefits and recognize the limitations. . . .
    • (Senator) Hart* speaks of a possible ‘truth in life insurance’ law.
      • Our hunch is that the problem isn’t so much truth as clarity.”
    • Another doughty** champion*** of the consumer is reported to have said: “ . . . . it should surprise no one that the standard family auto policy is substantially less readable than Einstein’s basic work on relativity.”
      • The speaker*** is a lawyer and an insurance commissioner and he should be well aware that it is the lawyers and the insurance commissioners who have made the insurance policies what they are today.....
    • *Senator Philip Hart (D-MI)
    • **doughty = brave and persistent
    • *** Herb Denenberg, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner

1973 - SOA - The Actuary - Editorial by ACW (Andrew C. Webster), p2 - 8p

  • Little time is spent giving the novice any insight into the premises of the field.
    • Textbooks and even scientific papers are prepared according to the advice attributed to Louis Pasteur: "Make it seem inevitable."
  • This may explain why scientists, actuaries included, find it more difficult to explain their work or relate it to other fields than to apply it to a problem. (p387)

1974 - SOA - The Future of the Actuarial Profession as Viewed in A.D. 1974, by John M. Bragg, Society of Actuaries - 74p

  • There is bound to be a controversial element in anything that enlightens the public to these differences and gives them a more intelligent basis for choice than they have at the present time.

--  Ernest J. Moorhead (EJM)

1977 - SOA - Debate "Resolved, The Life Insurance Business, as Transacted Today, is in it's Terminal Stages, Society of Actuaries - 14p

  • Because of the high level of flexibility provided in a "Universal Life" style Adjustable Life product...

--  David R. Carpenter

1979 - SOA - Future Trends and Current Developments in Individual Life Products (rsa79v5n44), Society of Actuaries - 24p 

  • Universal Life might well be a more appropriate product than Adjustable Life for the very sophisticated, very high premium, as you mentioned, product or sale.
    • However, I think that there is a major segment out there where Universal Life Just would not fit.
  • Universal Life seems to be taking a giant step forward.
    • Adjustable Life may be a reasonable middle ground which our agents and our potential policyholders can understand a little bit better than the Universal Life concept at the present time.

--  Spencer Koppel

1979 - SOA - Future Trends and Current Developments in Individual Life Products (rsa79v5n44), Society of Actuaries - 24p