Reader Response

Jan/Feb 2015 Reader Response

How Laughable is this?

I appreciated reading the thoughts of some veteran casualty actuaries (“President’s Message” by Wayne Fisher and “In My Opinion” by C.K. “Stan” Khury, Actuarial Review, November-December 2014) who have survived a few hostile takeover bids over the decades by our larger cousins. As a geographically challenged practitioner, it is reassuring that the majority of our members are on the same page. I also immensely enjoyed our recent centennial celebration. However, it dawned on me during the concurrent session “History of Property/Casualty Actuarial Work — Ratemaking (1914 – 2014)” that the only other acronym we have ever gone by is CASSOA!

— Brant Wipperman, FCAS, FCIA

Mandate Insurance to Cover All Victims

Dear Editor:

The article “Can Insurance Curtail Gun Violence?”(Actuarial Review, November-December 2014) is one of the best presentations of the situation for gun violence and the purposes of potential insurance to address it that I have seen in the last two years. Unfortunately, the final more prescriptive portion of the article is misleading.

Apparently, insurance industry informants have given the author the same information that they always distribute. The claim that insurance cannot cover intentional acts is simply false. Mandatory insurance and insurance that is designed to protect third parties often covers intentional acts by the purchaser of the insurance. It pays victims directly and not the wrongdoers. For example:

Fire insurance has a mortgage clause that pays lenders when homeowners commit arson on their own houses; motor vehicle insurance pays pedestrians intentionally hit by drivers in some but not all states; workers’ compensation insurance pays workers intentionally injured by employers; many kinds of commercial bonds cover intentional acts by the bond purchasers.

It is possible to mandate insurance that would cover all victims. The insurance would have to be mandated and the policies drafted for that purpose. Simply mandating liability insurance designed to protect insurance policy holders would not suffice. It’s normal for insurance terms to be tailored to cover a specific situation.

A well-designed system of mandatory insurance for guns would compensate all victims, encourage safe practices and not be a burden or excessive expense to responsible gun owners.

— Tom Harvey, Rockville, Maryland

Mr. Harvey is a gun insurance advocate who writes on the subject at