You are here

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.

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 27/01/2021
End date
E.g., 27/01/2021

Events calendar

  • India Town Hall

    28 January 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual India Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Member Mahidhara Davangere and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

  • Spaces available

    What are the options for the world economy looking ahead?

    In this Thought Leadership Lecture, Economist, Vicky Pryce, will be discussing world economic trends, including the differences in geographical performance and how output is recovering and where.

  • Spaces available

    Trust and Leadership for Actuaries

    Led by Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Leeds, this webinar introduces some key ideas in the ethics of trust, with a particular focus on those in, or on the path to, leadership roles. Dr Baxter is joined by a panel of experienced leaders who will give their personal perspectives on how they understand the value of trust and how they seek to promote and inspire trust, drawing on their experiences of leadership. The panel includes:

  • Health and Care Hot Topics webinar

    Online webinar
    10 February 2021

    Spaces available

    In this webinar, we have two presentations showing the latest research on the implications for life and health insurers of two key issues: genomics and pandemic risk.

    Dr Peter Joshi and Paul Timmers will share their research on how well-established underwriting processes can allow for genomics in predicting expected mortality and morbidity. They will then discuss the potential for stratified screening and personalised medicine to improve health and reduce claim costs.

  • Spaces available

    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.