Issues & Answers: Actuaries in an Era of Technology
Roosevelt Mosley, a principal and consulting actuary with Pinnacle Actuarial Resources Inc., said the company works with technology providers and vendors to develop solutions specifically for the insurance industry. “Our commitment to research ensures that we can be prepared with the best solutions for our clients to take full advantage of technology,” he said. The following are excerpts of an interview.
How is technology impacting the insurance industry?
Technology has allowed companies to be more effective and efficient in providing insurance coverages and services to their current and potential customers. Comparing the process of shopping for insurance coverage, applying for a policy, and submitting a claim 15 years ago versus today shows this clearly. As an example, to shop for insurance 15 years ago, a person would either have to call insurance agents or companies, or drive to a local agent’s office to provide the information needed to receive a price quote. Once a decision was made on which company to purchase insurance from, a paper or computer application would need to be filled out and then signed by the customer, then the application is provided to the company for underwriting. Once the file was reviewed and approved by an underwriter, the policy was issued. If a policyholder had a claim, they would need to call the company, set up a time to meet with an adjuster to have the claim estimated, and ultimately schedule repairs.
Today, technology has made each of these processes much easier and quicker
Is technology enhancing the role of the actuary or is it making him or her an endangered species?
Technology is enhancing the role of an actuary, as long as the actuary grows and develops to adapt to the changing environment. Actuaries and actuarial societies have recognized this and have taken on more significant roles as a result. Predictive analytics has become a strong focus of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and led to the formation of the CAS Institute, which now offers a credential for Predictive Analytics, the Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics. Also, many of the pioneers of the application of predictive analytics in the insurance space were actuaries. Actuaries’ roles have also been enhanced in the application of the analytics to areas that were not traditionally in the purview of the actuary, such as claims and underwriting.
How is Pinnacle helping its clients use technology to their advantage?
We assist our clients by helping them analyze data related to their insurance processes, and use this analysis to create solutions for improving their business processes. This data can either be internal to their company, from an external data provider, or both. Not only have we built solutions for our clients, but we also assist our clients in developing data processing and analytics skills in-house. This allows our clients to ramp up more quickly in their ability to access the power of data.