As the first chief actuary of the Insurance Information Institute – an organization designed to help everyone understand insurance better – I was keenly interested in having I.I.I.’s Pinterest board celebrating Women in Insurance Month include perhaps the most famous female actuary, Ruth Salzmann, FCAS.
Ms. Salzmann’s actuarial career began in the 1940s. She was the first female officer at Insurance Company of North America (INA), a company whose founding preceded the American Revolution. INA was the forerunner of CIGNA, and its property-casualty operations live on at Ace Insurance.
In Ms. Salzmann’s early days, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) held its meetings at Union Leagues, some of which lacked any accommodations for ladies, even a restroom. She became the first female president of any North American actuarial association when she took the helm of the CAS in 1978. Read more about Ms. Salzmann’s illustrious actuarial career in the feature article in the May 2005 issue of the Actuarial Review.
Ms. Salzmann may be best known for the Salzmann curves – mathematical tables that for more than 40 years served as the basis for pricing property insurance. Her 1963 paper, “Rating by Layer of Insurance,” remained required reading for actuarial students into the 21st century.
Any celebration of historical women in insurance should certainly include Ruth Salzmann. But in order to include her on I.I.I.’s Pinterest board, we first had to have a webpage and photo to pin on our board, hence this blog post.