Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Straight Talk from Bernstein Research

I always appreciate people like Todd Bault at Bernstein Research who tell it like it is.

Bernstein Research is the NY-based arm of securities brokerage Sanford Bernstein & Co and Todd is the Senior Analyst covering the insurance industry. One of their most important metrics is the Bernstein Statistical Monitor (BSM) which tracks price trends as a component in analyzing the financial health of insurance underwriters.

Todd has decided to stop relying on data collected by the CIAB survey of brokers and agents and instead to rely on data collected by Advisen on behalf of RIMS – and to restate previous BSM figures dating back to 2004.

In explaining why, Todd doesn’t hold back in citing the bias of brokers and agents when reporting pricing changes. I’ve posted before about the supremacy of empirical data over anecdotal data – that data that Advisen collects straight from risk managers is more reliable than calling brokers and asking them to summarized quarterly client renewals in ranges such as “down 5-10%”.

All of us at Advisen are glad Todd did his research and found our survey results, available here.

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