Well I have always wondered about statements like ‘the numbers tell you the story’ or ‘numbers lie’ …well Numbers may not lie, but liars figure a way to present the numbers LIKE THE TRUTH!

Let us look at some numbers….Recently I got a post on FB showing the claim settlement ratio of

the life insurance companies. I have no clue why there should be such a high discrepancy. Now many of us who deal with life insurance companies in some capacity do realise that underwriting in some of the private companies is far, far more difficult than with LIC – so the claim settlement ratio has to favor the stricter players. However this table will create an image that LIC pays claims better than the others. However it is not clear whether the ratio includes the maturity claims (I must add Abhinav Rahul of Max New York Life did clarify that IT DOES NOT include maturity claims). Still before one uses data like this, one has to know the answers to the following questions:

what does the numerator and denominator contain?

– does it include maturity claims

-what is the size of each claim

– what are the reasons for repudiation?

There are of course a few stories on the misuse of statistics…but this one is really good.

A friend used to be running the Investment banking division for a bank. He had 3 people reporting to him. He married one of them and went off on a honeymoon.

When he was on leave, I called up his office….and his assistant told me:

“Your friend Suresh marries 1/3rd of the people reporting to him and 50% of my department is on honeymoon”!

Similarly it is not impossible to draw a graph showing the relationship between the number of pigs in a location and the pig iron production in the same location. There could be a co-relation but that is just meaningless, right?

For those who read UK based websites the delays in National Health Services is something you know. Once upon a time the waiting period for an abortion was 45 minutes…then it increased to 7-8 days. Extending this logic..and assuming the same rate of growth…it may mean a 9 month waiting period for an abortion in the year 2045!

Similarly based on the scores in New Zealand it may be possible to prove that Inzamam Ul Haq is a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar. Why I will be able to prove that Harbhajan Singh should play for India ONLY if Kumble is playing. Which means Harbhajan should retire, right?

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  1. “Your friend Suresh marries 1/3rd of the people reporting to him and 50% of my department is on honeymoon”!

    Hilarious 🙂

  2. How do we trust such numbers? Are these companies are supposed to share these numbers publicly?

    When I was buying a term insurance sometime back, many sales person shared such numbers (not only on claims but also on premium amounts) and the numbers are always skewed in favor of them. I could atleast verify the premiums from other company, but not sure how to verify the claims data.

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