In forecasting serious asbestos-related claims, some of the country’s largest insurers and consultants appear to be ignoring relevant changes in medical knowledge, demographics and even social media. As a third wave of costly asbestos-related claims strikes the nation in the years ahead, many insurers will be swamped with “unexpected” reserve charges, according to “A Third Wave in Asbestos Liabilities Lies Ahead,” a new study by Assured Research, a New Jersey-based firm that analyzes the property/casualty insurance industry.
“In studying asbestos-related claims, we’re seeing evidence of outdated actuarial models,” explains Assured president William Wilt. “Since they’re based on 30-year-old epidemiological and demographic data, they can’t accurately forecast asbestos-related claims. Some insurers also seem to be ignoring advances in medical knowledge and diagnosis—and the changing behaviors of consumers and personal injury lawyers.”