New Ideas in Insurance

A Virtual ILC Speaker Series

The Insurance Law Center at the UConn School of Law is pleased to sponsor a semester-long series of talks covering new ideas in insurance. If you’re reading this, you probably know that insurance is not the staid, boring subject many believe it to be. Instead, it shapes—often decisively—many aspects of our lives, from limiting police misconduct to incentivizing better driving; from regulating self-driving cars to influencing how healthcare is delivered and priced. Throughout the spring semester, we’ve invited some of the world’s leading experts from the academy, the bar, and the world of insurance regulators to speak about current developments in their fields and to speculate about what the future will look like. These fascinating and important conversations are open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us.

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Livelihood Insurance
January 21, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Michael Abramowizc, George Washington Law School
Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller has argued for livelihood insurance, a financial derivative that would provide compensation when many individuals in a particular occupation suffer losses. This talk will explore why livelihood insurance did not emerge in time to protect workers in the last pandemic and what the government can do before the next crisis to protect workers in vulnerable professions. Watch the video.
Michael Abramowicz

The Year We Got: Covid, 2020 and the NAIC
February 4, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Ray Farmer, South Carolina Department of Insurance
South Carolina Director of Insurance Ray Farmer became the NAIC president in January 2020, expecting the major issues would include the long-term care insurance market, climate and resiliency, continued uncertainties with the ACA and access to affordable health insurance, international regulatory cooperation, and the growing role of Big Data and predictive analytics.  Then the pandemic arrived, demanding immediate regulatory attention and leadership, and a spring and summer of protests moved race and racism to the forefront.  Several months after his term, Director Farmer will discuss 2020 and the NAIC. Watch the video.

Ray Farmer
The Rules of Medical Necessity
February 11, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Daniel Schwarcz, University of Minnesota Law School
Historically, health insurance contracts have required coverage of virtually all “medically necessary,” “non-experimental,” care, with these terms being defined through broad standards. In recent years, however, health insurers’ contracts and practices have moved towards a more rules-based approach for defining covered health care. This talk explores how this shift undermines the effectiveness of traditional legal tools designed to constrain the risk of health insurers overreaching in coverage determinations, such as litigation, external review, internal review, and coverage mandates. Watch the video.
Daniel Schwarcz
Buying Data from Consumers
The Impact of Monitoring Programs in U.S. Auto Insurance
February 18, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Shoshana Vasserman, Stanford Business School
What happens when insurers gain better information about the riskiness of their customers? The question is of tremendous importance as new techologies allow insurers to monitor customers' behavior and use that information to price their product. But little is known about the equilibrium effects of this kind of information--how is it priced, who agrees to provide it, what effect it has on competition among insurers, and how it affects overall welfare. This talk offers an empirical perspective on these issues. Watch the video.
Shoshana Vasserman
Genetic Non-Discrimination
February 25, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Anya Prince, University of Iowa Law School
Florida has recently passed legislation that bars life (and long-term care and disability) insurers from using genetic information in underwriting. This talk explores the intracacies of the legislation and discusses how effective it is likely to be. Watch the video.
Anya Prince
How Private Insurers Regulate Public Police
March 11, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
John Rappaport, University of Chicago Law School
Can insurance can be used to regulate police misconduct? How effective has it been in doing so, and why might it be an effective option going forward? This talk addresses these and related issues at the intersection of insurance and civil rights. Watch the video.
John Rappaport
Long Term Care Insurance
March 25, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Tom Baker, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Long term care insurance is an inherently risky product, since the evolution of medical costs is subject to great uncertainty and since socio-legal risk is highly correlated across insureds. This talk explores how insurers manage such risks.
Tom Baker
Liability Claim Evaluation, Big Data, and the Persistence of Uncertainty
April 1, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Patricia Born, Florida State University
Outcomes of medical malpractice lawsuits reflect a great deal of uncertainty for insurers, despite their access to historical claims experience and evolving sources of “Big Data." Variations in how people recover from certain types of injuries and how juries perceive fault, for example, can have large effects on claim payout variability. This presentation explores the role of injury types, juries, and other factors that may explain why an insurer’s initial assessment of how a claim will evolve is often off the mark.
Patricia Born
InsurTech Adventures in Insurance Regulation:
Windows, Walls and Trap Doors.
April 8, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Bill Goddard, Electromagnetic Advisors and UConn School of Law
What happens when the world of technology meets the world of insurance? This talk offers an insider's account of how we got where we are, and where we're going from here.
Bill Goddard

Insuring an Evolving Mobility Ecosystem:
From Mustang Sally to Waymo One
April 15, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Asaf Lubin, University of Indiana Law School
It is widely believed that the adoption of autonomous vehicles will lead to a continual decline in the frequency of accidents and a shift towards products liability that will bring an end to automobile insurance as we know it. This presentation will make the case that automobile insurance is not going anywhere, though insurers, regulators, and manufacturers will need to adapt to a changing mobility environment.

Asaf Lubin
Gender in Health Insurance Pricing
April 22, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
John Cogan, University of Connecticut School of Law
Gender rating—charging women higher premiums than men—is justified on the basis of actuarial fairness (each gender bears the cost of its own risk and does not subsidize the other). This reasoning ignores an underlying theoretical flaw in insurance classification theory: no matter what variables an insurer uses to classify risks, there will always be cross-subsidies and risk-based unfairness. Thus, I argue that using gender as a rating variable is a policy choice by insurers, not an actuarial or economic necessity.
John Cogan
Workers Compensation, COVID-19 and Emerging Issues
April 29, 2021, 4 -5 p.m.
Susan Donegan, National Council on Compensation Insurance
Workers Compensation is the nation's oldest social insurance system and while it has adapted as the workplace evolves, its core components of payment for medical care and income replacement due to work-place injuries and disease remain the same.  With COVID-19, the importance of these benefits, their cost, and the difficulties in demonstrating causality between infection and the workplace, has led states to review their workers compensation systems and consider whether to rebalance some of its central components.
John Rappaport


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