At FM Global’s 1,600-acre Global Research Campus in rural Rhode Island, the dress code doesn’t call for suits and ties but hard hats, safety glasses and lab coats. This is the appropriate wardrobe when your work involves dust-explosion bunkers, plywood-firing cannons, a fire lab the size of a football field and an earthquake-shake table that can go from zero to 60 in one second.

Visitors quickly learn that the carrier—one of the world’s largest property insurers—takes its science very seriously: M.I.T. serious. C.S.I. serious. Using “20 mega-watt calorimeter” and “wet electrostatic precipitator” in the same sentence serious.

Need some numerical proof of FM Global’s commitment to the science of loss prevention? The 177-year-old mutual-insurance company employs more than 1,800 engineers in 120 countries—and not a single actuary.

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