FCAS, MAAA
Senior Consulting Actuary

SAS&reg;<br /> Certified Predictive Modeler<br /> THE POWER TO KNOW&reg;<br />

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Laura A. Maxwell

Laura Maxwell is a Senior Consulting Actuary with Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. in the San Francisco, California office. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Moravian College. She has more than 25 years of actuarial experience in the property/casualty insurance industry and has provided consulting services since 2003.

Ms. Maxwell is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She currently serves the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) as a member of the Examination Committee, Chair of the Webinar Committee and Secretary/Treasurer of the Casualty Actuaries of the Bay Area. Ms. Maxwell is a SAS® Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS® Enterprise Miner™ 5.

Prior to consulting, Laura was a product manager for a direct auto insurer and held actuarial positions with a state insurance department and national rating bureau. Her background includes personal and commercial lines pricing and reserving.

Publications and Media

July 18 2017 APEX Discussion Series
ORSA: Has Anything Changed?
Authored by Laura A. Maxwell and John E. Wade.

Cybersecurity and the Insurance Market
Joint Risk Management Section Essays
Authored by Laura A. Maxwell.

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Case Studies

Formation

Formation

In an effort to attract and retain quality physicians, a large integrated healthcare system operating in the Midwest decided to create a physician’s professional liability insurance (PPLI) alternative to the commercial markets. After a comprehensive feasibility analysis, an offshore captive insurance company (CIC) was capitalized and formed. Pinnacle actuaries were engaged to assist in the feasibility analysis and implementation of this strategy. Pinnacle’s involvement began by assisting the captive manager to develop appropriate assumptions that were incorporated into the CIC’s proposed business plan and filed with regulators. Initially, Pinnacle performed a comprehensive analysis of the current PPLI market to develop base rates, rating factors and underwriting guidelines. On an annual basis, Pinnacle re-evaluates the base rates and rating factors and recommends adjustments to reflect current trends in the market as well as credible indications borne out of the CIC’s experience. In addition to maintaining adequate rates for the program, Pinnacle has also been retained to perform the annual analysis of unpaid loss and expense reserves. The CIC’s annual reserve analysis includes a review of policies written, premium collected and claims incurred by the CIC at the close of each fiscal reporting period. Management relies on Pinnacle’s analyses to ensure the financial health of this strategic venture.

Self Insured Loss Reserve Analysis

Self Insured Loss Reserve Analysis

Pinnacle was approached by a major, national manufacturer to perform a loss reserve analysis of their retained workers compensation, auto liability, general liability and products liability loss exposures. The previous actuary worked for a large broker which the customer felt presented a conflict of interest. In addition, the actuary used industry benchmarks that the customer felt did not accurately represent their loss development behavior. Pinnacle worked with the customer to better understand their loss exposures, claims handling practices, and corporate risk management philosophy. We worked with the company to gather better internal data and refine the industry benchmarks to better reflect their third party administrator, industry focus and geographic mix. These refinements, and many others, led to a more accurate analysis of the company’s retained loss exposures, a reduced provision for unpaid claims on their balance sheet, and reduced collateral requirements from their fronting carrier.

U S Domestic Statement of Actuarial Opinion

U S Domestic Statement of Actuarial Opinion

Domestic U.S. property/casualty insurers and risk retention groups are required to file an Annual Statement with state regulators each year by March 1. Part of that filing includes the submission of a formal Statement of Actuarial Opinion (SAO) by a qualified Appointed Actuary as to the reasonableness of held loss and loss adjustment expense reserves. The SAO must be one of five types:

  • Reasonable
  • Inadequate/Deficient
  • Excessive/Redundant
  • Qualified
  • No Opinion

In addition to the SAO, most jurisdictions require an Actuarial Opinion Summary (AOS) providing more detail on the Appointed Actuary’s specific findings by March 15. Lastly, a formal report narrative in support of the SAO and AOS is required to be available by May 1.

As the SAO is a compliance document, the primary audience is state regulators but the individual company must arrange for the service to be provided.

A recent SAO for one of our clients touched on many of the required disclosures:

  1. The adequacy of held reserves on a net basis were below the low end of our range of reasonable reserves until we took into account anticipated salvage and subrogation recoveries.
  2. The unearned premium reserves for long duration contracts were substantial and we conducted a review to determine they were adequate
  3. The Company held material loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for pools and associations. In order avoid having to issue a Qualified Opinion, we separately computed indicated reserves for two of the pools/associations, and obtained an SAO from the Appointed Actuary for the National Workers Compensation Reinsurance Pool.
  4. Reinsurance recoveries were in doubt for certain carriers as balance were sometimes overdue by more than 90 days. After reviewing the reinsurers’ A. M. Best ratings, we made the required disclosures about reinsurance collectability. 

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