Knowledge is power.
Nobody knows this better than Assistant Professor Richard Peter. That’s because his research focuses on insurance markets, and thanks to the techno-fueled information boom, the insurance landscape has changed in a big way.
“Mankind has access to greater knowledge than ever before. And much of it is private information that’s readily available.”
"With a simple click, you have an opportunity to gain information about particular risks. Or you may have discretionary information about something like your personal health history. This knowledge can influence how you make certain decisions about insurance," he explains.
23 and You
With a simple mail-in genetic test, you can find out if you carry the genetic markers for over 3,000 conditions.
"That kind of information can help you decide what insurance products are right for you," Professor Peter explains.
In his classes, he guides his students through the tough questions: Should an insurance company ask its clients for this information? How would this process be regulated? What’s best for the consumer? What’s best for the insurance company?
“In my class, we discuss these complex issues, including predictive tests. People usually remember the actress Angelina Jolie, who made significant medical decisions based on genetic testing. It was one predictive test that held a very high predictive power.”
Peter’s research into insurance markets is digging deep to help find solutions.
“From a business perspective, pricing is critical. Insurance does no good if insurance companies don’t have the money to cover the policy, so I look at insurance markets along with public policy to figure out how to alleviate these problems."