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Thread: Differences between property and auto pricing actuary positions

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Aug 2007

    Differences between property and auto pricing actuary positions

    Are there any pros or cons that would make working in either property or auto pricing better than the other?

  2. #2
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    I never worked in auto pricing, but my impression was that after you do your work and come up with an indication, you then have to work with the agents in the field to fine tune the indication, then go to the state and file the indication and get approval ... and some states are fairly easy, while others are a real hassle. If they don't approve, you either explain why you're right and the state DOI is wrong and why your rates are valid (and hope they buy it) or you go back and re-tweak your work, then re-send it out to the agents and re-tweak, then re-send to the state and maybe have to re-tweak, ... and so forth and so on.

    Property (including WC)? If it's small businesses, the WC part may involve states as well ... but parts of it are more open-ended, you're working with UW to make sure they know what's going on and understand your assumptions and how much things can vary depending on how assumptions change. If it's bigger companies, the WC part is completely market-driven and you're looking much more at their experience and evaluating them on their individual characteristics.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

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  3. #3
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Personal lines or commercial lines? I think with personal lines, there's a lot less judgement involved since you have so much data. Auto liability is a longer tailed line and might be more interesting. The property pricing on the coast might be interesting in the wake of recent hurricane activity.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  4. #4
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Aug 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiverton171 View Post
    Are there any pros or cons that would make working in either property or auto pricing better than the other?
    Irish Blues was right on, but there is a bit more to Personal lines Auto Pricing. We also handle "data requests." Seems like a simple thing, I know, but it actually can be an involved process and often involves explaining actuarial topics to people who neither care for nor know what you're talking about. The actuaries (at least the student actuaries) are also responsible for compiling lots of data. Again, something that sounds simple but with the massive amounts of data out there, deciding which data to compile and which to leave out actually becomes pretty important.

    Then, as with most other lines I'm sure but definitely in Auto, actuaries are expected to have at least a fair level of VBA skills - scripting is essential to handle the volume of data we have in auto - and the ability to, at the very least, be able to create databases and run queries in Access - for similar reasons.

    Then as will likely be the case, your company will have its own software for pulling data from its main database which you must become fluent with - again due to the sheer size of our data.

    So basically, it's data manipulation and, as Irish Blues says, working with your region to convince everybody that your profit assessment (indication) is the greatest one in the world.

    - junk

    PS The other day, I had to compare two data sets. It was great because I got to use some CAS Exam 3 material and do hypothesis testing on the two data sets. It involved testing pairs of events from two dependent presumably normally distributed samples. Real .. fun .. stuff

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