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The man with only one arm

I’d better be quick today – I’ve spent far too long tracking down rogue reinsurance premium numbers from the four corners of the world and dithering about who I should put on (or more poignantly, who should I knock off) our Reinsurance Power list for 2008.

So here goes.

A funny thing happened on the way to work this morning.

I was cycling merrily along when a man stepped out on into the road with his back to me, utterly oblivious to my two-wheeled presence.

I swerved to avoid him, braked hard and then gave him my best backwards glare before pedalling off.

There’s nothing unusual about this — London is full of tourists who have left their minds on vacation, or are unused to our peculiar method of left hand side road usage — and anyway, bicycles are almost silent and can easily sneak up on you.

But what was different about this guy was that he only had one arm.

I’m not naturally mischievous, but as I rode off I couldn’t help thinking that if he kept crossing the road in such a dopey fashion it wouldn’t be long before he lost his other arm!

Then I thought about it from an underwriting point of view.

Here’s a risk with something of a loss record. Well, I suppose you could call it a PML hit, of 50% of the total sum insured.

I hate the phrase “glass half full or glass half empty”

— to me the answer is entirely logical — it just depends — if you’re filling the glass up, it’s half full and if your emptying it, it’s half empty!

But here is a real optimists vs pessimists risk.

Optimists will write it because they know the guy really doesn’t want to lose his second arm and will put all the necessary risk management in place to make sure it doesn’t ever happen — a good write and you get a decent price too.

But my experience shows that there are some dopes out there who never change.

Show me a man with one arm and I’ll show you a man well on the way to having no arms at all!

PS. The massive gold ring I mentioned yesterday belonged to Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida. Presumably this hefty lump of gold is a hefty percentage of the collateral for the FHCF!

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