Risk management is a portable skill. We can take it from job to job, company to company. Is it possible, though, that many professional risk managers leave their skills at their desks at the end of the work day, abandoning them in their personal lives? Do we tolerate risks in our personal lives that we would consider foolhardy during the nine-to-five routine? Examples abound of risk professionals who apply different standards of risk at work and in their personal lives.

Nancy Germond, a risk-management consultant in the Midwest, recently encountered a man in a parking lot who — knowing she was in insurance — told her he had millions in assets in various businesses such as waste management and real estate. He felt well covered by his broker on the business end. He was, though, concerned about his personal risks. In two minutes, Germond learned that his car’s coverage was with a direct insurance writer. He had an 18 year-old son on his auto policy and — wait — he was not sure if he had umbrella liability coverage or not over his primary policies. In two more minutes, Germond scared him to death.

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