ACAS, MAAA, CERA
Managing Principal

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Joseph A. Herbers

Joe Herbers is Pinnacle’s managing principal and has 35 years of consulting experience. His practice is concentrated in providing loss reserving and funding studies for a wide variety of entities – both traditional insurance companies and alternative market entities. Mr. Herbers’ areas of focus include policyholder owned group captives, large deductible and/or self-insured entities, public entity pools and nonstandard auto writers.

His skill set includes loss reserving for all lines of business, hands-on interaction with alternative market entities, networking with service providers and traditional ratemaking for all types of property/casualty insurance exposure. Mr. Herbers has served many roles as a volunteer of both the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA). He is a regular speaker at industry events.

Publications and Media

January 2020 APEX
Statements of Actuarial Opinion at Year-End 2019
Authored by Joseph A. Herbers and Aaron N. Hillebrandt.

January 2019 APEX Webinar
Statements of Actuarial Opinion at Year-End 2018
Authored by Joseph A. Herbers and Aaron N. Hillebrandt.

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Case Studies

Retention Analysis

Retention Analysis

Pinnacle was asked by a large self-insured regional transportation authority to assess the impact of increasing their self-insured retentions for both workers compensation and automobile liability. We developed a stochastic simulation analysis, based on the program’s historical claims experience and industry benchmarks, that examined not only the increase in expected losses but the program’s additional potential loss variability. Finally, we discussed with the customer the relationship between their current capital position, as well as the current reinsurance market, to ensure the retention they selected for their program was appropriate for them. The authority ultimately increased their retentions, put some of their excess capital to work, and realized substantial savings in their reinsurance costs.

Staffing Self Insured Reserve Analysis

Staffing Self Insured Reserve Analysis

Pinnacle was retained by a group of staffing companies with large self-insured retentions for their workers compensation loss exposures to perform quarterly loss reserve analyses and annual funding studies. Pinnacle initially used customized benchmarks for the staffing as the basis for our analyses. However, it became apparent that the benchmarks were not reflective of the unique characteristics of this program. Pinnacle worked with the third party administrator (TPA) for the program to gather additional historical experience for the program, as well as consolidated experience for several similar programs administered by the TPA. Using the results of our analysis of the TPA’s previous experience for this program and others like it, we were able to develop benchmark loss development assumptions that tracked much more closely with the program’s actual loss emergence.

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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