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General Insurance Machine Learning in Reserving

Our starting premise is that whilst machine learning techniques are widespread in pricing, they are not being adopted ‘on the ground’ in reserving (certainly in the UK).  The idea of the working party is to help move this forward, by identifying what the barriers are, communicating any benefits, and helping develop the research techniques in pragmatic ways.

At the same time we understand the resource and time pressures that reserving actuaries are under and the aim is not to replace existing reserving methods per se, but to start the journey to understanding if and how machine learning may help us in our day to day work.

This is an international working party bringing together experts in this field from around the globe.

For the most up to date information, our blogs, and more detail on the workstreams, please see our Github site.

We are open to new volunteers who have the time and enthusiasm to make a contribution. Our members are data scientists and academics as well as pricing and reserving actuaries and you don't have to be a member of the IFoA to join. If you would like to help us further the research and to collaborate with like-minded people, please see the IFoA volunteer vacancies page for how to apply.

Join the conversation on our LinkedIn page



Further details

Lead: Sarah MacDonnell

We have spoken to companies in the UK and Canada to find out whether our presumption was correct that machine learning is not being used ‘on the ground’ in reserving. We found that there is a great deal of interest in the subject and that a number of companies are investing in the research.

We have plans to undertake additional surveys in other countries.


Further details

Lead: Grainne McGuire

Provide a path to gaining competency in common statistical and machine learning techniques by:

  • creating a roadmap of methods to learn
  • gather together relevant learning materials and,
  • developing notebooks in R and Python with example code.

Literature Review

Lead: Greg Taylor

Bring together and review related papers or work.


Lead: Nigel Carpenter

  • Identify publicly available datasets that can be used to illustrate reserving techniques.
  • Provide a summary of the features available in each dataset.
  • Provide notebook examples of how to generate simulated datasets.


Develop and undertake our own research.

We anticipate adding additional workstreams covering issues such as pragmatic considerations, and trust and ethics, as our research develops.



Chair Sarah MacDonnell
Membership 48
Established 2019

Contact Details

If you want more information about this research working party please contact the Communities Team.

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Events calendar

  • CILA 2022

    23 May 2022 - 24 May 2022

    Spaces available

    We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty. Survival depends on our ability to simultaneously navigate through the diverse root-causes, ranging from: the consequences of Climate Change; transitioning to Net Zero; increased inflationary pressures and supply chain issues; to self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements. CILA 2022 focuses on these challenges to ensure we continue to be informed and remain battle ready, as well as showcasing highlights of recent CMI outputs.

  • Spaces available

    In the spirit of fostering the IFoA’s vibrant, global community and enabling our members to participate, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year. This allows for greater accessibility to this important annual event, and for greater accountability of our organisation.

    The Business of the AGM

  • The IFoA Conference 2022

    133 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX and Online
    22 June 2022 - 23 June 2022
    Spaces available

    We’re delighted to welcome you back to our first in-person conference since early 2020, also being delivered virtually in our first-ever hybrid event. The theme of our inaugural two-day conference is ‘Focusing on tomorrow’s actuary’ and will explore the contribution actuarial science is making to some of tomorrow’s biggest issues.


  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.