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Advanced Course Work

Advanced course work can be designed to achieve two goals.  First, it would provide valuable electives to general business students and students that wish to seek careers outside of risk management and insurance where more in depth knowledge of one or more risk management and insurance subjects would enhance the student’s skills and career preparation (e.g., finance students with an interest in financial institutions or corporate finance, personnel management students with an interest in employee benefit plans).  Second, the course work would provide an in depth academic foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in risk management and insurance, including business or non-business students who seek careers in actuarial science.  As in the fundamentals course, the emphasis would be on economic concepts and development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.

To achieve these goals, advanced course work could be organized around three main subjects:

1.      Advanced Risk Management:  Advanced coverage of loss control, loss financing, and risk management decision-making to increase firm value with an emphasis on property- liability risk.  Include detailed coverage of loss forecasting, methods of loss control, self-insurance and captive arrangements, loss sensitive insurance arrangements such as finite risk contracts, indemnity agreements, assessing insurer financial strength,  comparison of insurance to hedging through financial derivatives, and special topics  such as environmental liability, directors and officers liability, and international political  risk (e.g., currency inconvertibility and expropriation of  assets).  Make extensive use of spreadsheet analysis, including stochastic simulation, as tools to enhance decision- making.

2.      Employee Benefit Plan Management:  Advanced coverage of the design and funding of employee benefit plans with an emphasis on health care and retirement plans.  Include detailed treatment of coverage / eligibility issues and the effect of these provisions on employee incentives, the effects of alternative arrangements on benefit costs, optimal funding mechanisms, and government regulation of benefit plans.

3.      Insurance Company Management:  Introduction to insurance company operations and financial management for property-liability insurers, life-health insurers, and managed care entities.  Include coverage of the economics of pricing / underwriting, marketing / product development, and claims management; financial statement analysis; underwriting and investment risk management through diversification, capital structure decisions, reinsurance, and evolving capital market instruments; and market structure and performance.