The 2021 Executives to Watch: AIG’s Barbara Luck

Luck is newly appointed president of retail casualty, North America general insurance at AIG.
By: | November 4, 2020

In the coming year, Barbara Luck is focused on diversity, navigating high loss trends, and capitalizing on advanced data and analytics.

The president of retail casualty, North America general insurance at AIG is working to bring more diverse job candidates into the organization while giving workers of varying backgrounds opportunities to step out of their current roles and take on more responsibilities.

Luck remembers her early days as a woman in the male-­dominated insurance industry — and the senior executives who provided mentorship and opportunities along the way. Now she’s paying it forward.

”Very early in my career, I was able to connect with other women in the industry. Some became mentors who provided guidance and helped me navigate the industry,” Luck said. “Now as a leader working to bring more diverse groups to the table, I’m calling on my early experiences to help me relate to groups that are underrepresented in the industry.”

In August, Luck was appointed to her current role, bringing together under her leadership five formerly disparate casualty business units, from environmental and multinational to primary and excess. The reorganization brings a consistent underwriting approach to exposure and helps everyone better share data and analytics.

“The strategy is to remove product silos, create opportunities for underwriters to learn multiple product strategies and have them represent the broad casualty offering of AIG to the market regardless of the product they individually underwrite,” Luck said.

As she leads those units into 2021, Luck is focused on navigating through the current trend of rising losses. Jury verdicts are sky high, and there is less predictability around who will be held responsible for problems. Meanwhile, the higher cost of medical care from advances in medical technology to achieve better outcomes for patients also is having an impact.

“The challenge for my team is responding to these marketplace conditions by providing solutions that make sense for our clients but are sustainable over time,” she said.

Luck is also focused on continuing to use data analytics to make better underwriting decisions and drive better outcomes.

“There is tech that insurers can use to evaluate safety procedures and tech on the insured side that clients are using to mitigate risk,” she said. “It’s an exciting time for the industry.”

To address these challenges head on, Luck has a simple philosophy: Lead with authenticity, courage and passion.

“Being authentic is more important than ever,” said Luck. “That means putting yourself out there as you are, talking to people openly about challenges, and explaining where you’d like to see the business go.”

Having courage means leaning in to new risks and being innovative in finding solutions. Passion is the motor driving it all.

“Passion is the most important trait a leader needs to have,” she said. “Whether it’s passion for the industry, passion for what you do, or passion for wanting to see your team succeed. That is really what defines me on a day-to-day basis.” &

For the full list of Insurance Executives to Watch in 2021, view here.

Jared Shelly is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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