Watts and Associates, Inc.
4331 Hillcrest Road
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: 1-406-252-7776; FAX: 1-406-252-9753

Crop Insurance Consultant
8600 West 95th St. Suite 103A
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone: 1-913 449 8569

Dr. Driscoll has more than 25 years experience providing actuarial and underwriting services for crop insurance. Dr. Driscoll has qualified as a Lead Underwriter in the U.S. system for providing consulting services for RMA. While with FCIC during 1982-2001, he served in several responsible positions in the actuarial and underwriting areas of the agency, spending his last seven years as Senior Actuary. In this position, he evaluated crop insurance policies for actuarial implications and recommended underwriting modifications as necessary in addition to prescribing rate-making methods. He analyzed the FCIC insurance portfolio and recommended underwriting gain and loss sharing parameters under non-proportional reinsurance for the Standard Reinsurance Agreement to achieve a targeted rate of return for commercial insurance providers who collaborated in the delivery of Federal crop insurance (FCIC premium rates are based on pure loss cost and do not contain any allowance for costs and profit). At W&A, he has served as the head of the underwriting department on every FCIC-funded project totaling in excess of $18 million in consulting fees. He was the lead underwriter on all four development efforts that have resulted in operating insurance programs. He has international experience as an Assistant Professor at the Colombian Institute of Agriculture in Bogota, Colombia. He attended and made a presentation to a symposium on the Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme in Pune, India shortly after the plan was implemented. He contributed to the report prepared for Phase 1 of the current development effort for India. He, along with other members of the team, has been involved in seminal efforts in the U.S. with both index-based and indexing based development efforts.

Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 1969.
M.S. Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 1966.
B.S. Agricultural Economics, Montana State University, Bozeman, 1964.

Casualty Actuarial Society
1997 Ratemaking Seminar
2000 Ratemaking Seminar
College of Insurance, New York, NY
Basic Course in Reinsurance
Advanced Course in Reinsurance

American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, Malvern, PA
CPCU I Principles of Risk Management and Insurance
CPCU 2 Personal Risk Management and Insurance
CPCU 3 Commercial Property Risk Management and Insurance
CPCU 5 Insurance Company Operations
CPCU 7 Management
CPCU 8 Accounting and Finance
CPCU 9 Economics

Institute for Insurance Education, Malvern, PA
ARM 54 Essentials of the Risk Management Process
ARM 56 Essentials of Risk Financing

Multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI) rate making methods; underwriting rules and procedures; commodity price estimation and price discovery; laws and regulations affecting the crop insurance industry and the multiple peril crop insurance program; the Standard Reinsurance Agreement; and costs of alternative laws, regulations, or program changes.

Senior Actuary, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC and Risk Management Agency), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (1993-2001).

Principal duties: Oversaw methods for rate making and other actuarial applications for the MPCI program. Reviewed proposed rate making methods for insurance products submitted to FCIC for subsidy and reinsurance. Assessed impact of proposed legislation on the crop insurance program and estimate its budgetary exposure. Prepared estimates for reserving. Reviewed insurance policies and procedures to determine impacts on premium requirements. Evaluated alternative formulations of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement. Reviewed recommended price elections and price discovery methods. Worked with the Congress to develop changes to the crop insurance statute. Identified topics for research and evaluated actuarial reports submitted in response to those requests for analysis.

Deputy Assistant Manager for Actuarial and Underwriting Services, FCIC, USDA (1989-1993).

Principal duties: Managed all actuarial, underwriting, and research and development activities of FCIC through supervision of four division directors. Defined priorities for these activities and reviewed results. Converted Standard Reinsurance Agreement into the form that remains in effect in 2001.

Supervisory Actuary, FCIC, USDA (working title of positions: Chief, Rates and Coverage Branch (2/85 1/87) and Director, Actuarial Services Division (1/87 3/89)).

Principal duties: Directly managed the development and issuance of premium rates, price elections, transitional yields, and other parameters of the insurance offer for each crop year. Developed the actuarial basis for converting the crop insurance program from an "area based yield" offer to an "individual yield based" offer. Reviewed actuarial methods and proposed changes as needed.

Supervisory Crop Insurance Underwriter, FCIC, USDA (working title of position: Chief, Rates and Coverage Branch) (1984-1985).

Principal duties: Substantially similar to those described above. Change was a reclassification of position.

Crop Insurance Underwriter, FCIC, USDA (1982-1984).

Principal duties: Developed price elections for all crops. Revised and corrected procedural handbooks for dry beans, tobacco, and other crops.

Deputy Director and Director, Standardization Division, Federal Grain Inspection Service, USDA (1977-1982).

Principal duties: Managed regulatory program for promulgation of standards for grains, oilseeds, and other agricultural commodities; quality control program over the inspection of these commodities; and research and development of alternative methods for grading of commodities. Introduced new service to use near infrared reflectance equipment for determining protein in wheat.

Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA (1971-1977).

Principal duties: Developed or evaluated public policy alternatives with regard to food and feed grains. Developed models to project economic variables affecting production and consumption.

Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Mission in Colombia, Bogota, Colombia (1968-1971).

Principal duties: Taught and directed research for M.S. level program in agricultural economics in a joint program of the Colombian Agricultural Institute and the National University of Colombia.

Frank Schnapp, James L. Driscoll, Thomas P. Zacharias and Gary R. Josephson. 2000"Multiple Peril Crop Insurance: Ratemaking Considerations for a Politically Sensitive Product." Submitted paper presented at 2000 Casualty Actuarial Society Ratemaking Seminar. Winter 2000 Casualty Actuarial Society Forum.

James L. Driscoll. 1988."Changes in Rate Making for Federal Crop Insurance." Multiple Peril Crop Insurance: A Collection of Empirical Studies." Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 334. Oklahoma State University.

Various Numerous internal documents and papers related to all aspects of the FCIC rate making environment.


Goals for the Institute

Developing Countries:
To develop sustainable agricultural risk management programs for developing countries that result in economic stability and new sources of “risk capital” for their agriculture sectors.

Developed Countries:
To provide a training, succession planning, and “analytical research capability” environment for developed country governments and private companies engaged or expanding their work in agricultural risk management.

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Web Site Last Updated
April 15, 2010