Column: Roger's Soapbox

Columnist as Insurance Sage

By: | April 9, 2018 • 3 min read
Roger Crombie is a United Kingdom-based columnist for Risk & Insurance®. He can be reached at [email protected]

True innovation in the insurance industry is exceedingly rare. Over thousands of years, only a tiny number of individuals have left their mark on history. Hammurabi, for example, whose Code (c. 1750 BC) was the fons et origo of insurance as we know it.


Almost 3,400 years later, economist Nicholas Barbon and 11 associates established the first fire insurance company. Around that time, Edward Lloyd’s coffee house on Tower Street began to beget the great London agency that bears his name.

In the U.S., Benjamin Franklin popularized and standardized the way insurance operated. More recently, Hank Greenberg built a small-life company into the mighty AIG.

And now, to the ranks of these spectacular achievers is added another great name: mine. I stand revealed as one of the finest insurance brains. You cannot begin to understand how humble I am, to quote the President.

Love insurance policies have proved popular, newspapers have reported. A policy costs about $40 a year. One such guarantees a cash payment and a small diamond to those who marry between three and 13 years after the policy comes into force.

In this very space, in 2004, I wrote about the lack of insurance to cover the risks of love. You can insure against the cost of a heart attack, I wrote, but not the pain of a broken heart. I suggested Side A and Side B coverage. Side A: You insure against falling in love and all the consequential damage that might ensue. Side B: You insure against not falling in love.

Covered events might include romantic catastrophe, I wrote, such as coming home and finding your sweet baboo in bed with the Boston Bruins. Double indemnity, in case you fell in love with twins.

Just 14 years later — the blink of an eye in the history of this industry — comes news that the Chinese are writing love insurance. 2004: Boy, did you hear it here first.

Love insurance policies have proved popular, newspapers have reported. A policy costs about $40 a year. One such guarantees a cash payment and a small diamond to those who marry between three and 13 years after the policy comes into force.

There is but a single fly in this ointment: The policies, which I suggested be called loverage™, have been declared somewhat, well … OK, completely illegal by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Deemed more akin to gambling than insurance (a fine distinction), these policies are “fake,” the Commission stated on its website, adding: “These love policies … will be eradicated sooner or later.”


Bang! goes my reward. As an Englishman, I was hoping for a title and would have chosen to become the Duke of Earl. But, apparently, anyone can stop me now.

The Bible, at 1 Corinthians 13:4, says: ‘Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.’ To which we must now add: ‘Love is not an insurable risk.’

Ultimately, then, in the rolls of the insurance greats, I shall rank alongside not Hammurabi or Franklin, but Larry from accounting or maybe Jack, third runner-up for salesman of the year.

Like them, I shall never stop dreaming. &

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

As a professor of business, Jack Hampton knows firsthand the positive impact education has on risk managers as they tackle growing risks.
By: | April 9, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

Ellen Thrower, president (retired), The College of Insurance, introduced me to the importance of insurance as a component of risk management. Further, she encouraged me to explore strategic and operational risk as foundation topics shaping the role of the modern risk manager.

Chris Mandel, former president of RIMS and Risk Manager of the Year, introduced me to the emerging area of enterprise risk management. He helped me recognize the need to align hazard, strategic, operational and financial risk into a single framework. He gave me the perspective of ERM in a high-tech environment, using USAA as a model program that later won an excellence award for innovation.

Bob Morrell, founder and former CEO of Riskonnect, showed me how technology could be applied to solving serious risk management and governance problems. He created a platform that made some of my ideas practical and extended them into a highly-successful enterprise that served risk and governance management needs of major corporations.

R&I: How did you come to work in this industry?


From a background in corporate finance and commercial banking, I accepted the position of provost of The College of Insurance. Recognizing my limited prior knowledge in the field, I became a student of insurance and risk management leading to authorship of books on hazard and financial risk. This led to industry consulting, as well as to the development of graduate-level courses and concentrations in MBA programs.

R&I: What was your first job?

The provost position was the first job I had in the industry, after serving as dean of the Seton Hall University School of Business and founding The Princeton Consulting Group. Earlier positions were in business development with Marine Transport Lines, consulting in commercial banking and college professorships.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

Creating a risk management concentration in the MBA program at Saint Peter’s, co-founding the Russian Risk Management Society (RUSRISK), and writing “Fundamentals of Enterprise Risk Management” and the “AMA Handbook of Financial Risk Management.”

A few years ago, I expanded into risk management in higher education. From 2017 into 2018, Rowman and Littlefield published my four books that address risks facing colleges and universities, professors, students and parents.

Jack Hampton, Professor of Business, St. Peter’s University

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

The Godfather. I see it as a story of managing risk, even as the behavior of its leading characters create risk for others.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?

Jameson’s Irish whiskey. Mixed with a little ice, it is a serious rival for Johnny Walker Gold scotch and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

Mount Etna, Taormina, and Agrigento, Sicily. I actually supervised an MBA program in Siracusa and learned about risk from a new perspective.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?


Army Airborne training and jumping out of an airplane. Fortunately, I never had to do it in combat even though I served in Vietnam.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

George C. Marshall, one of the most decorated military leaders in American history, architect of the economic recovery program for Europe after World War II, and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. For Marshall, it was not just about winning the war. It was also about winning the peace.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

Sharing lessons with colleagues and students by writing, publishing and teaching. A professor with a knowledge of risk management does not only share lessons. The professor is also a student when MBA candidates talk about the risks they manage every day.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

Sensitizing for-profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies to the exposures and complexities facing their organizations. Sometimes we focus too much on strategies that sound good but do not withstand closer examination. Risk managers help organizations make better decisions.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?


Developing executive training programs to help risk managers assume C-suite positions in organizations. Insurance may be a good place to start but so is an MBA degree. The Risk and Insurance Management Society recognizes the importance of a wide range of risk knowledge. Colleges and universities need to catch up with RIMS.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

Cyber risk and its impact on hazard, operational and financial strategies. A terrorist can take down a building. A cyber-criminal can take down much more.

R&I: What does your family think you do?

My family members think I’m a professor. They do not seem to be too interested in my views on risk management.

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]