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CAS Research Council Issues Request for Proposals: Challenges Associated with Sharing Actuarial Models

The CAS Research Council is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to generate a brief which discusses the challenges associated with sharing and/or implementing actuarial models.

Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)

The CAS was organized in 1914 as a professional society for the promotion of actuarial and statistical science as applied to insurance other than life insurance, such as automobile, liability other than automobile, workers compensation, fire, homeowners, commercial multiple peril, and others. Such promotion is accomplished by communication with those affected by insurance, presentation and discussion of papers, attendance at seminars and workshops, collection of a library, research, and other means. The membership of the CAS includes over 8,600 actuaries worldwide, employed by insurance companies, industry advisory organizations, national brokers, accounting firms, educational institutions, state insurance departments, the federal government, and independent consultants.

The CAS Research Council

The CAS Research Council was formed in 2021 to prioritize the research needs of the general insurance actuarial community. This work will augment the existing work of standing research working groups which focus on specific practice areas like ratemaking, reserving, reinsurance, and risk analysis. The operational oversight of projects will be designated to a project oversight group (POG) made up of CAS staff and volunteers.

Research Problem Description

Much has been written about how to generate and evaluate predictive models. This is worthwhile and necessary. However, there is rather less content about how to ensure those models may be efficiently, effectively, and accurately used by decision makers. There are a number of questions, among them:

  • What are pros and cons of different delivery formats (e.g. spreadsheet vs web application vs code) in order to service and gain buy-in from different stakeholders?
  • What is a reasonable balance of responsibility between modelers and IT in deploying a model, and how does the partnership model take form in instances such as remediating bugs?
  • Are protocols for managing the “chain of custody” between prototype and production generally effective, and what are pros and cons of different approaches e.g. Agile or waterfall?
  • How is the rollout of changing parameters best managed and communicated to users of a model?
  • At what stage of model development does an enterprise address issues of scalability? Who has ownership of this?

The CAS is looking for a document which will serve as a resource for actuaries and others. Ideally, this will include potential best practices based on the authors’ own experience with the model development and deployment cycle.

Project Requirements

The end product of the research should be a paper, saved as (or converted to) a Microsoft Word file. The length should be sufficient to give meaningful, practical guidance to practitioners in a way that is concise yet complete. This typically means a paper of 15-50 pages. Those page counts should be regarded as rough guidelines only.

We understand that this document may rely on technologies which are generally understood within IT and engineering circles. Authors should understand that although actuaries are technically literate, they are not necessarily fluent in all of the technologies that a paper might present. For example, although Kubernetes and Docker are well understood by IT personnel, most actuaries would need a brief introduction to those technologies.

Any accompanying code examples will be shared on the CAS GitHub site (https://github.com/casact). All material on GitHub is released under the Mozilla Public License, version 2.0 (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/MPL/2.0/).

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should include a clear outline of the work that will be performed and the time frame in which it will be performed (including key dates). The proposal should be accompanied by the resumes of the researcher(s), indicating how their background, education, and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research.

The CAS contract will be awarded to the respondent who - in the judgment of the Reinsurance Research Committee and entirely based on their written proposal - is best able to perform the work as specified herein. If the committee determines that no proposal meets the requirements of the RFP, then no contract will be awarded.

Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged in a timely manner. Respondents who are not awarded the contract will be informed shortly thereafter.
Interested researchers should submit their proposals and any questions to:

Brian A. Fannin, Research Actuary
Casualty Actuarial Society
bfannin@casact.org
(919) 457-3439

Timeline

Interested parties are welcome to submit questions about the RFP. All questions and responses will be circulated to all who submit a proposal.


Week of April 25th

RFP announcement

May 13th

Question response

May 27th

Final submission

June 10th

Selection

Compensation

Compensation to researchers will be commensurate with the time required to carry out the work. Respondents should include an estimate of cost in their proposals. Total cost should not exceed $30,000.

Presentation, Ownership and Publication of Report

As a condition of selection, the CAS requires that all right, title, and interest, including copyright and patent, in and to the report be owned by the CAS. The selected researcher/research team must sign a formal research agreement that assigns all such rights to the CAS. In any publication of the report, the researcher(s) will receive appropriate credit with regard to authorship. The CAS may publish the report in its entirety, or any sections thereof, in any format and medium as it finds fit, including but not limited to CAS publications, and electronic versions such as on its Web site or physical storage media.

The researcher(s) should make every effort to be available to present the report at a CAS meeting or seminar.

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