IAASW Regional Seminar Preview: Richard Pope of Union Standard Insurance Group

The Insurance Auditor’s Association of the Southwest (IAASW) will hold its first Louisiana Regional Seminar October 4th and 5th at L’Auberge in Baton Rouge.

Ahead of the seminar, Louisiana Comp Blog asked speakers to give us a preview of what attendees can expect from the new event. Richard Pope, Premium Audit Director at Union Standard Insurance Group will present on Odd Audit Experiences. His presentation will include case studies and practical tips for auditors.


Comp Blog: Tell me about your background as an auditor.


Pope: I actually started out as an accountant and worked my up to controller at the company that is now Baker Hughes in Houston, so my background and my degree are in accounting and business administration. When the oil collapse occurred in 1982, I continued to work there until 1985 and then moved back to DeRidder, Louisiana, and ran my parents’ flower and gift shop.

After that, I pivoted and started at AMERISAFE in DeRidder, which was then American Interstate Insurance Company, as an adjuster trainee. I went from trainee to regional claims manager for the Western United States, then Oberlin Solutions for three years learning premium audit out of their Baton Rouge office. I then relocated to Dallas and ended up with Union Standard as premium audit manager and eventually director. I’ve been here 13 years now.


Comp Blog: What would you like attendees to gain from your presentation?


Pope: The main thing is to encourage the use of common sense when you’re looking at a risk – whether you’re an underwriter or a premium auditor. Also, I want attendees to understand that regardless of who you report to, premium auditors have a tremendous effect on two main areas. One is underwriting and the other is actuarial – the information they generate is important to rate determinations and the classifications they make match up to loss data.

It’s a misconception that premium auditors are not really underwriters, because they are. A lot of what we do is evaluating a risk and most of work comp is determining risk and what you’ve got – that’s most of the work as we grow up in this occupation.


Comp Blog: What would you say is the value of the IAASW seminar in general for local auditors?


Pope: The most important thing is education – knowing what to look for and when to look for it. I want to encourage a more synergistic approach to auditing as opposed to just walking in the office and working alone. Doing preparation and research on the internet and between departments is so important.


Complete registration and sponsorship information for the seminar is available here.

Learn more about the local chapter here.




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