Butler University’s student-run captive is insuring the university’s telescope; and conducting observatory safety evaluations.
students when his team presented their
RFP in the effort to win the job of
“It was very clear from the process
that the students were very engaged,
very thoughtful,” he said.
“They not only reviewed the RFP
we had to present to them, they made
the recommendation for the final
decision,” Ortegel said.
What is now known as the MJ
Student-Run Insurance Company
Ltd. was established with a cross-class aggregate limit of $265,000 and
will insure science equipment, books
and fine arts collections in Butler
University’s College of Liberal Arts
“We are insuring the first $150,000
of all of the scheduled fine arts and
inland marine. Travelers will sit in
excess,” Finn said.
Part of the students’ risk
management work is performing loss
control tours of the college’s library
and its observatory.
As part of their analysis they
determined that the college’s 38-inch
Cassegrain reflector telescope was
underinsured, by about $1 million.
They also found out that they could
automate closure of the observatory’s
dome to close it remotely in the event
of inclement weather.
“If the power goes out [in a storm]
and somebody has to go over and
manually shut the dome and it doesn’t
happen, we’re out $2 million,” Finn said.
“That’s a $2,000 fix,” he said.
The captive is also insuring the
university’s bomb-sniffing dog, Marcus.
In an era when the alarming threat of
terror attacks is on almost everyone’s
minds, Finn thinks he has hit on a
way to not only teach students about
terrorism, but use risk management to
Finn and his Butler student
team are developing a line of duty
endorsement to the policy covering
Marcus. The endorsement will allow
for two dogs to rise up and take
Marcus’ place should he ever be lost in
the line of duty.
“Once we have developed this
endorsement, we are going to float it
out to the entire insurance industry.
We’re going to ask that any carrier
that insures a police dog or a bomb-
sniffing dog include this line of duty
Butler grad Brad Weber said the
experience he picked up in establishing
a student-run captive in Bermuda
proved invaluable in the job interview
“I would say what was really
valuable about the class, more than
what we learned which was specific
to the captive industry, were project
management skills,” Weber said.
“I think my education did a lot for
establishing a student-run captive is a
“This isn’t necessarily about
education,” he said.
“This is about the way we bring
students or talent to the industry.”
As a result of the experience of
“One of the reasons I wanted to set up a student-run
helping to develop a captive at Butler,
captive at Butler was to show not only students what they
could do with a risk management degree but show the
industry what students could do with a risk management
—Zach Finn, director, Davey Risk Management & Insurance Program, Butler University
me,” he said.
The position Weber is in at Moog
required two to three years’ experience.
“Which I didn’t have coming right
out of school,” Weber said.
“I was able to write a cover letter
talking about how I would be able to
handle all of the other requirements,”
“From what I gathered during
the initial conversation, the
students were very independent
in producing their feasibility
study on domiciles.”
—Akilah Wilson, assistant director, Bermuda Monetary Authority
“And why my education gave me
the experience required for a job like
this,” he said.
Aon’s Ortegel said the Butler
University accomplishment of
Ortegel said he and his teammates at
Aon have been approached by other
university risk management programs.
“We have had multiple inquiries
and multiple conversations as a result
of this,” he said.
Given that only the domiciles of
Vermont and Bermuda responded to
the initial inquiries from the Butler
team — although other domiciles
later entered discussions — one might
surmise that many didn’t take the
Butler students seriously.
One who had no problem taking
the Butler risk management students
seriously was Bermuda’s Akilah Wilson,
who holds a risk management degree
from Philadelphia’s Temple University.
“Being a graduate of Temple and a
member of the Fox School of Business
& Management’s Gamma Iota Sigma
Chapter, I understood that there is a
level of real world experience that you
are exposed to during one of these
programs,” she said.
“It actually did give me a greater
appreciation for their initiative. I
thought it was a great, practical hands-on experience for students to embark
DAN REYNOLDS is editor-in-chief of
Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at