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Thread: Catastrophe risk modeling and climate modeling for climate change and insurance

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Catastrophe risk modeling and climate modeling for climate change and insurance

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here, currently finishing my masters in economics. My research has focused on flood insurance and I have decided I am more interested in the statistics than the economics. I am looking to enter the field of catastrophe risk modeling and climate modeling for climate change and insurance.

    I was wondering where to start.

    - Do I need a masters in statistics for this particular field of actuarial science?
    - Should I just start taking exams?
    - Where should I look: SOA, CAS... what subfield of actuarial science is right?
    - If you guys could point me to any resources I would be very grateful.


  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Hi Dan,

    A master's in statistics -or possibly math- is more appropriate for CAT modeling than any of the actuarial exams of the SOA/CAS. In any case, catastrophe risk is more related to Property & Casualty (and hence CAS formation) than Life & Health (SOA), but the the actuarial syllabi are geared towards insurance, not CAT.

    Insurers and reinsurers may need CAT modelling "on the side", from a research perspective. Yet they wouldn't require you to sign a Statement of Actuarial Opinion (or even use much of the insurance body of knowledge). Therefore as a CAT modeler you're not expected to attain an actuarial designation; I would be surprised to hear otherwise.

    Hope that clarifies.

  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Thanks that's a great help. I had suspected that was the case. I have heard of some actuaries being recruited into CAT departments but CAT does seem to be a distinct discipline. Do you think a masters would be sufficient or would a PhD open more doors?

    Also, do you have any sense of what field of statistics to specialize in? I see some programs in "Computational Science" and "Predictive Analytics" that have courses that seem more practical such as risk analytics, visualization, mining, modeling, and programming in Python/C/R/SQL - or - should I go for a pure statistics masters and gain these skills on the job?

    If any one knows a practicing cat risk modeler I would love to pick their brain and hear how they got there. Do you think that starting as an actuary might open these doors?

    Last edited by dcv2683; December 31st 2014 at 04:05 PM.

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