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Actuaries, legislative liaisons, claims processors round out team

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Gus Fuldner, head of insurance at San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., attributes much of his success to his the staff of about 30.

“I have a substantial actuarial team,” Mr. Fuldner said. “My second hire was a fairly senior actuary, Frank Chang,” a fellow of the Arlington, Virginia-based Casualty Actuarial Society.

Mr. Chang, who most recently worked at Menlo Park, California-based Google Inc., also spent time at San Francisco-based Esurance Insurance Services Inc. and Novato, California-based Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

Uber now has a four-member actuarial team that Mr. Fuldner plans to double this year. As Uber builds insurance products in an environment where there often is little loss history, it is very important “to have a really strong actuarial team that can produce estimates and analyses with relatively limited information,” he said.

Another staff member focuses on public policy and meets with state legislators and regulators, said Mr. Fuldner.

“I then have a team of claims advocates, who basically help riders and drivers understand the process of making an insurance claim and gathering the information we have about their trip to help them make a claim with the appropriate insurance,” he said.

Most of the claims advocates worked previously in personal lines insurance claims and “are very familiar with auto insurance,” he said.

“They're not adjusting claims themselves,” he said.

“What they're doing is helping gather the information in our systems about the trip and helping guide the rider and the driver to the correct place to make a claim and how to do that.”

Third-party partners

Other staff members focus on “partnerships with third-party insurers that sell insurance to our drivers,” Mr. Fuldner said. “In both the limo and black car model as well as the (transportation network company ride-sharing) model, our drivers are buying their own insurance, whether personal or commercial, depending on the model, and so we have relationships with these insurers that are building products and selling to that market,” said Mr. Fuldner.

Mr. Fuldner also works with an insurance legal and regulatory team, which reports directly to the general counsel and includes three attorneys who focus solely on insurance regulatory law.

The legal/regulatory team drafts policies, reviews contracts, interacts with state insurance regulators and drafts legislation, Mr. Fuldner said.

Uber also has some outside attorneys who advise the firm.

Uber has “been very deliberate about whom they hire, and he's been able to bring in some incredibly top-notch people,” said Randy Nornes, Chicago-based executive vice president of Aon Risk Solutions, who works with Mr. Fuldner in the U.S. and abroad as its broker.

The past year has seen the passage of several state laws covering ride-sharing insurance, and the legal/regulatory team has been actively involved in that process, he said.

Although the attorneys report to the general counsel, “I'm the internal client,” Mr. Fuldner said.

Mr. Fuldner said his team is located primarily in San Francisco, except for one person in Singapore who covers the Asia-Pacific region and one person in London who covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa.