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ICAT workstreams overseen by the General Insurance board

F ICU/vents - hospitals: An algorithm to enable hospitals to make most efficient use hospital resources

Code: DataSci1

Lead: Asif John

Detail: Build an algorithm to enable hospitals to efficiently deploy existing resources and help determine any additional resources / machinery required.

Outputs: pending

Media review - NLP so that they can review media, etc to see if there is any predictive/causal linkages

Code: DataSci2

Lead: Melanie Zhang, John Ng

Detail: Does Twitter activity on COVID-19 contain any early signals on predicting COVID-19 trends on infections and deaths?  Consider sources such as Google mobility reports google mobility reports.

Outputs: Webinar 24 July 2020 - Slide pack presented

The aim of this webinar was to provide an overview of research undertaken within the Data Science Working Party on applying machine learning methods for sentiment analysis and opinion mining of UK Twitter data relating to COVID-19.

Establish which data sources are credible for our use

Code: DataSci3

Lead: John Ng

Detail: Sourcing best value data for fast-moving developments in the data that already interested actuaries as well as new material data needs.

Outputs: pending

Contract wording and validity of exclusions for catastrophes

Code: GI4

Lead: Kevin Wenzel / John Charles (TBC)

Detail: Coronavirus and insurance have already made it to the news, with the regulator suggesting it will challenge insurance companies where they believe coverage for the effects of coronavirus on insured events was present.

This is a time of great uncertainty in exposure to risk and reserves on affected lines. How might insurance organisations monitor and assess their exposure to risk to wording uncertainty?

With the current threat possibly being a new fact of life for the near future, and pandemics occurring periodically, what could be done to help the insurance industry meet the needs for coverage in the future?

Outputs: pending

Consumer awareness and contract transparency

Code: GI4A

Lead: Kevin Wenzel / John Charles (TBC)

Detail: The lack of clarity or ambiguous nature of some policy wordings has caused uncertainty with respect to policy cover for consumers. This has the potential to give rise to regulatory and/or political responses and there are historical parallels which may provide an indication as to what might happen.  This workstream will create an inventory with a simple classification of what is being agreed as clearly covers COVID-19, what clearly excludes it and then the rest which are uncertain/disputed. This may extend to a comparison of the key tools/controls used by underwriters to manage exposures (e.g. use of standard policy forms such as ISO, LMA vs bespoke wordings)

There is potential for a second workstream to consider consumer awareness. This could consider the following questions:  How does the distributor address the requirement to understand and meet customer needs? Is there a gap between what customers expect is rightly covered and what underwriters have sought to cover? Are there differences between SME/sole traders and larger businesses e.g. in terms of sophistication in this insurance purchase decision?  Will the impact of COVID-19 lead to broadening or tightening of terms and conditions going forward?

Outputs: pending

Claims inflation and development

Code: GI5

Lead: Keith Brown / Sameer Keshani (TBC)

Detail: Social distancing, illness and economic disruption will have profound effects on general insurance companies claims development, which is used by reserving actuaries to estimate reserves - a vital job to ensure insurance companies can pay liabilities as they fall due.

There will be direct impacts on delays in the supply chain and inflationary pressures. There will be secondary impacts too, for example what will be the effects of the availability of loss adjusters to review claims and then will tradespeople be around to fix them? Furthermore, the external environment has also changed with recorded falls in traffic since lock-down began: will there be fewer car accidents? Consider the qualitative impacts to help reserving actuaries sense check and adjust their models, as well as work to commence on quantitative analysis when and where possible.


Impact of Covid-19 on Marine and Aviation Insurance

As part of the IFoA's Covid-19 Action Task Force, a  group of General Insurance actuaries have been studying the impact of Covid-19 and pandemic induced lockdowns on GI claims inflation and development. This blog discusses the changes in exposure and claims experience in Marine and Aviation insurance. 

Impact of Covid-19 on health insurance in India

A group of GI actuaries, part of the IFoA's Covid-19 Action Task Force, have been trying to identify changes in exposures and claims experience and their potential impact on reserving. This blog looks at the impact on the health insurance market in India. 

Social inflation

A group of general insurance actuaries working as part of the IFoA Covid-19 Action Task Force have been studying the impact of Covid-19. This blog discusses the changes in social inflation caused by pandemic.

The road ahead to motor insurance reserving

Harshitta Malakar, from the IFoA’s COVID-19 ICAT General Insurance Claims Inflation group, looks at the impact of the pandemic on the frequency and severity of motor claims and the issues which reserving actuaries should consider. 

Effects of a changing risk profile base on the pricing and availability of insurance products

Code: GI7

Lead: Amerjit Grewal

Detail: Due to COVID-19 there will be immediate as well as longer term impacts on (re)insurers and the wider market from the changing risk profile of policyholders. This may result in demand for new products and/or for existing products to be adapted. As a result, pricing actuaries will need to consider a wide range of factors including regulatory, reputational and commercial considerations.

This workstream will deep dive into the key personal and commercial lines of business affected by COVID-19 from a pricing perspective, and in addition provide a general framework of considerations for GI pricing actuaries when looking at COVID-19 exposures.

Output: For the latest updates and content please refer to the workstreams LinkedIn page at

Case Study:  Impact on Directors and Officers

Case Study:  Travel insurance

Case Study:  Personal and Commerical Lines Motor

Stay at home impacts on general insurers

Code: G18

Lead: Keith Brown / Sameer Keshani (TBC)

Detail: Life before lock-down seems further away than merely a few months ago. We have stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives, and this has changed life as we know it. The uncertainty around the exit plan due to the novel nature of coronavirus means the future is also likely to be different. All this means the speed and value of claims settlement from March 2019 and beyond is likely to be materially different from past data, which is the key assumption of most reserving methods. Are the industry standard "chain-ladder-based" reserving models fit for purpose to cover COVID-19's effects so far and into the future?  The workstream should consider the adequacy of current methods, what pragmatic changes could be made and work with existing working parties (maybe for example the Machine Learning in Reserving working party) to help reserving actuaries respond to this challenge and establish reserves which are adequate to meet claims at this difficult time.

Outputs: pending

Insurer and consumer behaviour and unintended bias

Code: G19

Lead: Catherine Drummond (TBC)

Detail: There are a range of considerations when it comes to human behaviour and how COVID-19 may affect this in relation to insurance.

Over confidence bias: firms that fared well during COVID-19 may be complacent about their resilience to future issues / risks – this may also lead to normalcy bias

Herd mentality: following the market during COVID-19 may do policyholders a disservice, or insurers or may mean opportunities are missed

Anchoring bias may mean that parameterisation going forwards may not be representative of the actual risk, due to the recent experience overly driving expectations of the future

Pessimism biases meaning that insurer pricing may not be properly reflective of the real risk – meaning that future policyholders are disadvantaged

Status quo biases – may mean that firms are not properly considering changes in their risk profile as a result of COVID-19 and therefore not responding accordingly

Behavioural research has been a huge growth area in the last 10 years and it’s not something that the IFoA has extensively investigated - this workstream could be expanded into a cross practice working party to investigate any changes that have been brought about by COVID-19.

Outputs: Covid-19, outcome bias and the impact on actuarial analysis

In the first of a series of six blogs, Gordon Woo, catastrophist at RMS, Will Davies, chief actuary at Insurem, Matt Attard, senior analyst at Marsh analytic solutions and Sophie Weisenberger, senior consultant at RPC Tyche, consider outcome bias and its impact on actuarial analysis in the context of COVID-19. They are part of G19, one of the workstreams of the IFoA’s Covid-19 Action Taskforce.

Other outputs

Simple Covid Statistics are Not Always Simple, Chris Smerald

Actuarial Futurism Hidden in Plain Sight, Chris Smerald

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Events calendar

  • 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.

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    This session is for new candidates and existing candidates where we will be discussing the practical steps you need to take leading up your exam and on the day. We will be discussing how to testing the online exam platform, downloading and uploading your paper and key information from the Exam Handbook.

    The exam webinar is for candidates, new to IFoA exams and returning candidates, sitting in the September 2022 exam session.

  • Spaces available

    The role of Non-Executive Directors has become increasingly challenging and critical over the past few years.

    Big picture thinking, Governance knowledge, Independent mindset, Ambassador potential and Energy and commitment: these are the essential skills sought in a successful NED, according to the Chartered Governance Institute (UK & Ireland).

    In parallel, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly key and used by investors to measure the sustainability and ethical impact of investing in an organisation.

  • 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

    In the UK, the idea of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes is gaining more attention with the launch of the Royal Mail CDC scheme, the first of its kind in the UK. Our recent research on CDC plans investigates the sources of the putative benefits of CDC schemes: the smoothing of pensions for members.  Using an attribution analysis to burrow into the scheme design, the reason for the smoothing of members' pensions is explained and understood.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Social Care Agenda

    11 October 2022

    Spaces available

    Social care reform has long been on the to-do list for successive governments over the last two decades. In February, the government’s proposed reforms to adult social care [including cap on care costs] was published. Against this backdrop of funding promise and rising National Insurance taxation, in this session we will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact of future demand for care services and what role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding in other countries where public-private partnership works.

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.

  • GIRO Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool  
    21 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
    Spaces available

    We are delighted to announce the return of GIRO as an in-person conference, giving you an opportunity to connect with actuaries in your practice area. Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the General Insurance sector.

  • Life Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP
    23 November 2022 - 25 November 2022
    Spaces available

    Life Conference returns as an in-person conference in 2022, giving you an opportunity to connect with your peers and fellow actuaries in your sector, in person. You will also hear leading experts discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Mortality and morbidity risk varies by variables such as age, sex and smoking. In traditional actuarial experience analysis, these variables, and certain combinations thereof can be explored. However, with the wealth of data now available it is becoming increasingly challenging to identify the key drivers of experience and account for the interaction between different variables. A univariate approach often compares apples and pears, for example males are more likely to smoke and have larger policies than females. Likewise, variable interactions are missed unless specifically included.