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Job title: Senior vice president, US
2015: Vice president, RenaissanceRe
2002: Vice president, Platinum Underwriters
2000: Assistant vice president, St. Paul Re
What was the most significant development you’ve seen
over the last 12 months?
The health insurance/healthcare market in the US has been going
through significant and rapid change over several years. Currently,
the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unclear as is the fate
of healthcare reform bills under the new administration. More
Americans now have health insurance coverage, but healthcare
costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. Prescription drug costs are
trending at rates that are multiples of the CPI.
Additionally, a number of large insurers have indicated their
intent to exit large segments of the individual exchange market
leaving less choice and competition. This market uncertainty
and financial pressure creates a significant opportunity for
efficiencies in the delivery and financing of healthcare, and for
the use of technology to better engage the healthcare consumer
in the most effective and efficient use of healthcare resources.
Has the profile of women in re/insurance been raised in
The profile of women in the re/insurance industry has
increased but there is also room to increase workplace
diversity. The re/insurance market can benefit from the
different points of view and approaches to problem-solving
that a diverse workplace offers.
I have been fortunate to work with strong female mentors
and leaders throughout my career and I am seeking to be a
leader to cultivate further diversity.
Samantha Engel manages the accident and health business
line for RenaissanceRe. She also contributes broadly to the
company’s casualty portfolio. Engel began her insurance
career at CIGNA in 1990 as part of their actuarial training
programme after graduation from University of Connecticut
with a BA in mathematics/actuarial science. She is an associate
of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American
Academy of Actuaries.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
I started college as a history major but struggled with how I
would use a history degree to feed myself. I started to explore
other careers, and much to the chagrin of my history advisor,
I started taking calculus and statistics courses.
A friend saw my unusual course load and knowing of my
career path confusion suggested that I speak with his actuarial
science advisor. This person explained that I would be able
to use my technical aptitude and desire to understand the
lessons of the past in a business environment.
I took my first actuarial exam a few months later, which
allowed me to get an actuarial internship at CIGNA. I
later gained employment in CIGNA’s actuarial training
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
In 2006, I was part of a team of four underwriters at Platinum.
My boss decided to retire and move away and my other
two colleagues also left, at about the same time, to form a
consulting company. I was left as the sole A&H underwriter
in a rapidly softening market. My management took the
chance on me being able to run the department and I worked
hard to convince the market that we were still committed to
the line of business despite our diminished resources.
Over the years, I was able to truly make the department my
own and contributed significantly to the company’s business.
“More Americans now have health
insurance coverage, but healthcare costs
are rising at an unsustainable rate.”
114 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | 2017 www.intelligentinsurer.com