Why Predictive Modeling is Important to Your Future as an Actuary

Over the past decade, predictive modeling has become an important topic in the actuarial community. This informative Future Fellows newsletter article, published in 2012, provides a good overview of the subject and also puts forth a simple definition of predictive modeling: using past data to predict the probability of some future outcome. Initially utilized by personal lines carriers, predictive modeling is now being used by CAS members in many different lines of insurance. Working with insurance data poses several unique challenges and CAS members and their companies benefit greatly from employing more advanced statistical methods in their lines of work.

Knowing the importance of predictive modeling to CAS members and future members, Jed Frees, Glenn Meyers and I worked with the CAS to envision “Predictive Modeling Applications in Actuarial Science,” a two-part series published by Cambridge University Press and sponsored by the CAS and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Volume One, which explores the foundations of predictive modeling, is now available through Amazon and Cambridge University Press.

You may already be familiar with predictive modeling, and it remains a large part of where the actuarial practice is headed. This book series showcases CAS’s ongoing commitment to provide its members and future members with extensive opportunities for predictive modeling continuing education, enabling them to be leaders in the field. The book’s website also features many free resources for immediate practical use, including content preview, data (.txt or .csv format) and R code (.R format) for each chapter. These are valuable tools for anyone interested in actuarial science, even at the student level.

My question for Student Central members: have you been exposed to the topic of predictive modeling in your academic coursework?

Richard A. Derrig, Ph.D., is President of OPAL Consulting LLC and Visiting Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business at Temple University. He is also a member of CAS Academic Central. He serves as co-editor for “Predictive Modeling Applications in Actuarial Science,” along with Edward (Jed) Frees, University of Wisconsin – Madison and Glenn Meyers, retired from ISO Innovative Analytics. The set is part of the International Series on Actuarial Science from Cambridge University Press. Volume Two is expected to be published in the fall of 2015.

Proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Actuarial Foundation, a widely respected charitable organization that promotes actuarial scholarship, as well as its Canadian counterpart, the Actuarial Foundation of Canada.

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Opportunities for CAS Student Central Members to Interact With and Learn From P&C Actuaries

What is the most important advice for students interested in pursuing a property & casualty actuarial career? Which exams and classes are most important to take during college? How do I decide between P&C, Life, and Health? What is the difference between working for a consulting firm vs. an insurance company?

As you are considering your future career as an actuary, it is likely that you are finding yourself asking similar questions that can be best answered by speaking with practicing actuaries, and getting a number of different perspectives. Through free webinars and in-person networking events, CAS Student Central is offering members many opportunities to interact and learn from property & casualty actuaries in the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.


CAS Student Central will host two webinars this year tailored towards the needs of Student Central members. The first webinar, Career Paths in the Property & Casualty Actuarial Profession, will be held on September 19th from 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET. The webinar will feature a panel of CAS members (including myself), from a variety of backgrounds and practice areas. Following a brief set of introductory remarks, the floor will be open for you to ask anything that you want to know about pursuing a property & casualty actuarial career. Don’t wait – REGISTER NOW!

Student Programs

There will be several opportunities to attend a student program at an upcoming CAS meeting and seminar this year. CAS Student Central members are invited to participate in one-day student programs that will be held in different locations throughout the US.  By attending a student program, you will have the opportunity to network with practicing actuaries, and participate in both regular seminar sessions and student-specific sessions. At the beginning of the program, you will be paired with a CAS member who will answer questions, provide guidance, and help navigate the seminar while networking and attending sessions together. Below is a list student programs that will take place during the upcoming year.

Student Program Date Location CAS Conference
September 15th San Diego, CA Casualty Loss Reserve Seminar
Registration now closed
November 11th New York, NY CAS Centennial Celebration & Annual Meeting
Registration Now Open – Learn More
Date to be announced
(RPM Seminar March 9-11)
Addison, TX Ratemaking and Product Management Seminar
Date to be announced
(Spring Meeting May 17-20)
Colorado Springs, CO CAS Spring Meeting
Date to be announced
(Reinsurance Seminar June 1-2)
Philadelphia, PA   Seminar on Reinsurance

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