Put to the Test: A Video Visit to 3 Insurance Research Labs

PC360 Dodges Fireballs, Flying Lumber and Other Simulated Disasters to Discover the Value These Science Centers Bring Carriers, Clients

When people think of the work done at insurance companies, they probably picture actuaries and underwriters sitting at desks and crunching numbers.

But at some insurers, research labs, staffed by highly trained scientists and engineers, play a vital if rarely seen role in discovering ways to reduce losses caused by man-made and natural hazards.

NU, with our video camera in tow, visited three leading labs at a trio of major carriers: Chubb, FM Global and Liberty Mutual. While on site, we witnessed explosions, earthquakes, flammable- liquid fires, the awesome force of hurricane winds and much more. Liberty Mutual even let us get behind the wheel of one of its training trucks to take on its treacherous test track.

While many of these scientific experiments are great fun to experience firsthand, the efforts expended at the labs have an unquestionably serious purpose: to develop innovative ways to prevent losses and save the money—and lives—of policyholders.

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