A memory recall game can be adapted to individual or team working to assist in identifying risk management weaknesses. Robin Wood explains

The Retroactive game is a tool devised some years ago to assist recall before an examination.It can be used by an individual working alone, or it can be adapted to be used as a workshop exercise.Imagine that you have a butler of the mind called George, and that it is his job to gather information for you from the storage area of your mind. A good example of when this happens is when you are presented with a question and George goes off to find the answer.For the exercise this week, we are not going to concentrate on exam preparation but for gap analysis on market principles and in relation to a new business or renewal meeting with a customer.Think of a common question that such a customer might ask. For example – what does average mean?Or it might be something procedural – what must I explain to the client at each renewal?Every time a question is posed in this way, George is sent off into the storage areas of the mind to seek an answer.What the Retroactive game does is to switch the emphasis from giving an answer to finding a question that fits the answer. Of course it is quite possible to find more than one answer. This is where it becomes a very useful risk management tool for an individual's supervisor. If the game is monitored properly, the supervisor will be able to identify those areas in which the player does not come up with the most important answer. For example, the amount of the claim will be reduced as a proportion of the sum insured.Here are some 'stems' to that answer:What happens to an insurance claim in the event of the following?
a) The insured has over claimed
b) An excess has been applied
c) The loss adjuster is a hard negotiator
d) The sums insured were inadequate and average has been applied.So that if the player fails to come up with d) above, the supervisor might be concerned that there is a learning need.You can also extend the exercise to allocating risk factors to the various answers. (low 1 to high 5).Equally, there may be more than one 'valuable' answer. This is an exercise that is not just limited to rights and wrongs. It is also about the discussion of ideas and views. Different people with different Georges will come up with a variety of possibilities. What is important is that you identify the answers where the 'valuable' stem should be limited to one or two options.Here are a group of 20 mixed answers. You or your group should find 'valuables' and agree a risk factor for each as it relates to your own business. Those which, in our opinion, only have one or two 'valuable' stems have been highlighted with an asterisk.
1) Pan Atlantic v Pine Top*
2) He fell off his bicycle into a puddle, caught pneumonia and died*
3) A motor cover note
4) Marine Assurance Act [1906]*
5) He/she must be competent to do the job
6) The insured must collect up all rubbish and cigarette ends from the night club at the end of each working day and discard them in a metal container which must be removed from the premises at the end of each night*
7) £25 applied to each and every claim
8) Norwich Union with 40%
9) Any occupation*
10) A Continental scale
11) Facts which lessen the risk*
12) That information on the proposal is warranted to be true*
13) Is a claims handling activity which is not regulated by the FSA
14) 10% of the contents sum insured
15) You should speak to a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
16) "But if you know you dropped the ring on Brighton Beach it is not actually lost and we cannot pay a claim under your worldwide all risks personal possessions extension"*
17) "Great, drunk driving, more commission"*
18) A weeping willow tree*
19) Mere expectation is not sufficient to create insurable interest
20) If the owner of the vehicle charges no more than a sum to cover incidental expenses.Send us some of your answers and we will publish the best.Robin Wood is managing director of RWA GroupCompetition resultMany thanks to all of you who sent entries for the ‘feedback' competition. There were some excellent responses – some very enthusiastic – and all were good advertisements for the firms the entrants represented. Alas the winner left no company name, telephone number or address. Due to the last minute nature of the entry, we have had no chance to get in touch. So, step forward to claim your prize Alan Norrie, who submitted a response which was absolutely first class.Although Alan seemed a little weak on regulation (question 5) his other answers were nigh on 100% and the key element, the feedback, was exceptional. Here are examples:Q1 A PI policy provides for legal liability arising from negligent act, error or omission and any breach of professional duty of care owed. The extent of the duty of care would be measured against the usual standard in that profession.Irrespective of when the particular incident leading to the claim occurred, the PI policy operates on a claims made basis. This is unlike a PL policy which is written on a ‘losses occurring basis'. PI insurers will protect themselves from previous events by including a retro active date within the policy.Q3 All material facts must be disclosed. This is because only one party in a contract of insurance is aware of all circumstances. The law is continually evolving in its consideration of what is a material fact - the case Pine Tops introduced the concept of ‘inducement'.Q6 Proximate cause is defined in Pawsey v. Scottish Union [1907] as “the active efficient cause that sets in train of events which brings about a result, without the intervention of any force started and working actively from a new and independent source”.Alan, we look forward to sending you your bottle of vintage claret when you disclose all.