Insurance as a Financial Tool and a Force for Social Good

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
III - August 10th – August 14th, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Ken Radigan

Course Description

When we are confronted by global pandemics, climate change, and cyber-attacks, the insurance industry is the good guy who comes to the rescue. And when it comes to new opportunities such as bitcoin, driverless vehicles, and artificial intelligence, here too insurance plays a key role in enabling innovation and supporting growth and prosperity.

In this course we examine the inner workings of one of the most valuable financial services for society. The first insurance policy was written 670 years ago. Today, the ten largest insurers in the world generate over $918 billion in net written premium and hold $7 trillion in non-banking assets. Course participants gain a deep appreciation as to why individuals and businesses rely on insurance as a powerful financial tool, and come to understand the value that insurance provides to society.

Through lectures, role play, case studies, and group projects, students come to understand:

  • How insurance is responding to modern threats such as climate change, cyber-attack, coronavirus, and natural disasters.
  • How insurance is evolving to accommodate driverless vehicles, bitcoin, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotization, 5G, aging populations, and longer life spans.
  • Why insurance is a financial necessity in a global economy.
  • How to utilize insurance as a financial tool.
  • How insurance companies make money and balance it with paying claims.
  • How risks are monetized and transferred. 
  • How insurance helps to stimulate economic growth.
  • The economic advantages of pooling exposures.
  • How insurance has evolved over time.

Participants gain a clear understanding of how the insurance industry operates, why it is needed, and how it will continue to emerge to meet the risk demands of the future.


Ken Radigan

Ken Radigan is the CEO of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) and teaches Insurance Risk Management at Columbia University’s Master of Professional Studies in Insurance Management. He served as the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for US and Bermuda platforms of Aspen. Prior to this, he was the CRO for the Casualty and Global Risk Solutions Divisions of AIG. Ken had worked at AIG for over 25 years and during this time he had the following responsibilities:

  • CRO, Casualty and Global Risk Solutions
  • Director of corporate catastrophe modeling
  • Product line manager for the Environmental Protection Programs
  • Product line manager for the Cleanup Cost Cap programs
  • Actuarial analyst for the corporate actuarial department

Ken is the inventor of two US Patents on Nuclear Decommissioning Insurance and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in mathematics from the University of Dayton as well as the following professional designations:

  • Professional Risk Manager, PRM
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, CPCU
  • Associate in Risk Management, ARM
  • Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance, ASLI
  • FINRA Series Certifications: 6,63,66, and 7

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.