New York–Pricing actuaries face a number of tough challengesbeyond sparring with underwriters over how much they can dropinsurance rates when property-casualty markets turn soft, a veteranof the process said.

William Miller, senior vice president and actuary for ACE USA inPhiladelphia, told colleagues attending a meeting of the CasualtyActuaries of Greater New York here last week that issues likeeroding claims-handling standards and requests to set prices fornewly launched coverages are among the many concerns that can causeheadaches for actuaries as the market softens.

Often during a soft market some of the controls and processesaround the claims function get eroded, Mr. Miller said. Insurers,he noted, may be more apt to allow the insured to self-administertheir own claims or to have a say in the third-party administrationselection–a situation less likely during a hard market.

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