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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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Start date
E.g., 26/09/2021
End date
E.g., 26/09/2021

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    A panel discussion with investment representatives discussing the impact of investment on climate change and vice versa.

    This event is part of The Road to Glasgow: IFoA’s Sustainability Thought Leadership Series which will provide a platform for prominent contributors so that our members and others can understand the perspectives of a wide range of parties interested in the climate debate.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing our world today. Addressing it will require multi-faceted solutions. Through this panel session, we will explore the different levers that can be used to meet net-zero targets including climate science and data, government engagement, and mobilising green finance.

  • Spaces available

    How governments and societies collectively respond to the climate crisis is increasingly being analysed through the lens of intergenerational fairness. Our expert panel will assess and explore the extent to which inter-generous fairness is being considered in climate policies, the lessons from those countries who are leading the way on fairness and justice in climate interventions, and more.

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.