Category: MSc Actuarial Science with Business Analytics

AIR-Q Insurtech Forum 2.0: Is this the future of Insurance?

There is good reason to believe that insurance is heading down the path of major disruptive innovation, but few are putting InsurTech at the heart of their strategy. Earlier this month, I had the privilege of hosting an Insurtech forum with four Insurtech industry leaders for the Actuarial, Insurance, Risk and Quants (AIR-Q) society at the Business School (formerly Cass).

As an MSc Actuarial Science student and co-president of AIR-Q society, I hope to share my passion for applying and enriching knowledge of the insurance industry. Further, as someone who comes from a mathematical background, I understand the fear of approaching new technical jargon, when hearing from professionals or reading articles. Therefore, I hope to bring clarity to help break down the barrier between high performing professionals and students through my role as co-president.

In our recent forum, we looked through the lens of InsurTech leaders to understand current trends and business models that are employed. We also discovered the intricacies that are worth paying attention to, as part of this monumental shift in the industry.

The panel consisted of the following Insurtech leaders:

Transforming Insurance Carriers from Companies using Data to Data Companies in Insurance


The event began with a presentation by Michael. He shared five trends he believes are helping companies thrive in the current digital world:

  • The shift from offline to online
  • The virtualisation of all technology, services, and solution delivery
  • Accelerated consumption of cloud-based services and solutions
  • Increased demand for real-time predictive analytics to drive decision making
  • All built and delivered around human-centred design

Michael shared data which demonstrates the major drivers and challenges encountered by carriers. In the legacy systems, there are processes manually worked across multiple data sources point to point. The real challenge is how to go from the legacy system to processes worked across multiple data sources with orchestration layer end to end.

Further, Michael shared with us a quote from a colleague “An AI is like a 14-year-old girl”, in his explanation of some of the pitfalls of AI and how Intelligent Automation is shaping the future of work, a more human-centred digital delivery of work.

InsurTech in 2020: Lens on InsurTech investment and partnerships

Sabine focused on Insurtech sector investment funding and trends. She stated that Insurtech investments in 2020 have gone towards mature ventures with established business models. Some investors have favoured companies that are pure digital players, with a focus on niche market segments. Others have primarily gone on to target small business and gig economy worker propositions. It is no surprise that cyber risk prevention & the reduction of cybercrime are top of mind. Lately, cognitive intelligence solutions are securing funding where they can support a range of operational transformation activities.

Some of the investment strategies used by insurers have included making investments in emerging technologies (IoT, Big Data, Cloud, 5G, Blockchain, Mobile, and AI). Insurers have already allocated significant funds to these technologies and are combining them into unique capabilities.

She concluded by suggesting that Insurtech players need to join the dots by including ‘differentiating platform’ and ‘ecosystem thinking’, into the mix.

Insurtech – everything you need to know to participate in the disruption of a multi-trillion-dollar industry

Sebastian spoke about the similarities between Insurtech and the Fintech market. He discussed where the money is, what it takes to build an Insurtech firm and the power of dynamic between incumbents and new entrants in Insurtech disruption. Given Sebastian’s expertise in African Insurance market, he also spoke about the emerging markets and the evolving nature of insurance services being offered. He shared a myriad of knowledge including where the demand is and why the youngest populations, such as Africa, are a good market. With the rise of online banking, embedded finance is more prevalent in Kenya than it is in Texas.

Below are the links to register if you would like to attend the insurance conventions mentioned by Sebastian to hear further about emerging markets in Insurtech:
: Africa 3.0 | Insurance 3.0

Ki Insurance: the first fully digital and algorithmically driven Lloyd’s syndicate

James talked about Ki being the first fully digital Lloyd’s of London ‘follow only’ syndicate. Ki has teamed up with Google cloud and enlisted the help of the computer science department at University College London (UCL) to design the algorithms.

Ki is a Brit Insurance venture which aims to redefine commercial insurance by bringing disruptive technology. This will certainly challenge the traditional industry designed by brokers by providing a more efficient way of getting quotes in the Lloyd’s of London. The vision is to make Lloyd’s more comparable to the London Stock Exchange, by digitalising risk. The benefits here are twofold: brokers get a more user-friendly and timely way to access follow positions, and Brit can carve out a huge chunk of cost from the lengthy end-to-end process by using technology.

Opening the discussion with the floor

Speaker’s presentations were followed by an open discussion between speakers and guests, moderated by Siddhesh Surpatne. We were pleased to have a very engaged audience, who put forward thought-provoking questions making the event very interactive.

The AIR-Q society was honoured to have Michael, Sabine, Sebastian and James share their knowledge with everyone, and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to them.

Thank You

The founder and presidents of AIR-Q society (Peter V, Ruby Ison, Harry Parker, Vered Opoku-Baffour, Simran Dewani and Siddhesh Surpatne) would like to thank the Business School (formerly Cass) careers and events team, specifically Leon Cuthbertson for his help in setting up a successful webinar. Many thanks to our attendees, and especially the speakers for their wonderful and insightful presentations on the reshaping the insurance industry. Together, you made this event a success. We hope to host more enjoyable and informative events in the future.

Follow AIR-Q society to join us for future events:

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The Future of Actuaries

Choosing Cass

I studied pure mathematics in my undergraduate degree but was already interested pursuing a career as an actuary. I became an intern in a life insurance company as an actuary and later became a full-time employee after graduation.

In my experience, life insurance products tend to have complex and long policy terms, which become a challenge for actuaries to quantify the risks and calculate the optimum premium and reserves. I found this challenging yet fun because the problem could vary every time and the products themselves are getting more innovative, which brings a whole new level of calculation complexity. These are the reasons I wanted to pursue my career as an actuary in the life insurance industry.

I decided to continue learning by studying the Cass MSc Actuarial Science. I wanted to increase my mathematical and statistical skills, with a focusing on the actuarial field, as well as broaden my knowledge of the applications of actuarial science.

Cass is well-known for its MSc Actuarial Science programme. The School offers broad and varied accredited actuarial science modules which allows students up to six actuarial exam exemptions. The assessment in most modules are a real-life application and are carried out using essential software such as R, VBA and Excel. In addition, there are also options for student to take business analytics modules which is really what got me really interested in the first place and helped me decide where to study.

The Future of Actuaries

The ever-growing trend of business digitalisation is pushing a lot of companies to require people with technical skills related to big data platforms and automation. Companies will need more people with the ability to analyse large amounts of raw data, manipulate it, and create an algorithm to transform it into something functional for the company to then visualise the result. That is where a business analyst plays an important role.

While it is true that business analysts are needed in every sector, in the financial sector and the insurance and investment industries, business analysts require a combination of strong data analysis skills as well as the ability to quantify future risks. In these cases, an actuary can fulfil these requirements.

Combining actuarial science and business analytics: preparing for my future career

What I think will be the most useful technique of business analysis for my career is machine learning. As an actuary, I will be dealing with a lot of data to make some assumptions out of it to predict future risks. It became a much more challenging thing in life insurance where actuaries were required to predict long-term future risks based on historical data. Machine learning could help clean the data by predicting missing values or even predict new variables using unsupervised techniques.

Frequent analysis of the data is also common for actuaries, whether it is to calculate monthly reserve, performance monitoring, or premium re-calculation for Yearly Renewable products. Machine learning could speed up the process by fitting all of the analysis models and validate the result much quicker.

Muhammad Alhavif, MSc Actuarial Science (2020)

*From September 2020, Cass Business School will be launching the MSc in Actuarial Science with Business Analytics pathway, which prepares students for the non-traditional actuarial field of business analytics.

How I’m preparing for a career as a modern actuary

Choosing Cass 

I am an MSc Actuarial Science student at Cass Business School. I aspire to pursue a career in the non-traditional actuarial field of business analytics.

Prior to studying at Cass, I studied BSc Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. After graduating from my bachelor’s, I wanted to learn more about actuarial science in insurance, finance and investment. I knew that actuarial studies would be the ideal combination of mathematical and probabilistic techniques and analysis of business and would allow me to combine my greatest passions.

Based in the City of London, Cass is in an ideal location for finding a job post-graduation. In addition, our excellent lecturers have deep industry knowledge and understanding of current affairs and offer us the knowledge we need to learn.

All these factors motivated me to study the MSc in Actuarial Science at Cass.

Actuaries: the future of business analytics

By following the new curriculum of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Cass offers a detailed study of actuarial computer-based applications in R and Python programming and VBA. Given the excellent skill set acquired via these, I am developing my knowledge of analytics methods for business and machine learning, all of which are being adopted across actuarial practice areas.

I like this course structure, not only because it delivers the fundamentals of actuarial science, but also offers computer-based applications and modules on analytics methods for business and machine learning. These tools are very useful for my career path. I want to become a non-traditional actuary equipped with strong technical skills.

Help from the Careers Team

With the support of Cass Careers Team, I have already attended many workshops and I have booked numerous 1:1 appointments to help me apply for jobs in the UK. I feel more confident in answering competency questions and doing video interviews. I really appreciate the careers coaches because they have helped me gain confidence and realise where my personal strengths lie.

Studying at Cass Business School has enriched my understanding of actuarial science and improved my commercial awareness. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Yiqi Chang, MSc Actuarial Science (2020)

 If you’d like to find out more about Yiqi’s experience or have any general questions about studying on a master’s degree at Cass, contact her on our Ask a student platform.

*From September 2020, Cass Business School will be launching the MSc in Actuarial Science with Business Analytics pathway, which prepares students for the non-traditional actuarial field of business analytics.

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