The reinsurance industry is all about combining technical expertise and experience with the developments of science. However many tools we use to conduct our activities (models, databases, pricing tools, reserving tools, and so on), we also need personal judgments, human expertise, convictions, feelings even, to correctly underwrite. This is what we call the art of underwriting. Reinsurance is a knowledge industry. Expertise is an accumulation variable.
The most advanced tool will never replace the intuition of a seasoned underwriter facing a complex risk. Because at the end of the day, you have to make a decision, to sign, to underwrite. And what we have underwritten, we cannot overwrite - our word is our bond, as is our signature. This dimension of our business, linked to the art of underwriting, is more important than some observers would have people believe.
One way to acquire this art is to share experiences – both good and bad – and to share doubts and questions. Artists always belong to a school, from which they learn their craft. Like artists, we have to learn, imitate, mimic, and then innovate, in order to find our own style and create our own distinctive work.