Casualty Actuarial Society

Reserve Variability Limited Attendance Seminar

Reserve Variability Limited Attendance Seminar

October 21-22, 2010

(Optional Homework Review on October 20)
Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner
Washington DC Metro Area


When registering for this event online, please select your reg type to see the event fees available.

Understanding reserve variability has recently become an important skill for the practicing actuary. Moving from point estimates and deterministic ranges to distributions of possible outcomes is one of the critical quantitative building blocks for effective Enterprise Risk Management. Insurance executives, regulators, risk managers and rating agencies are all beginning to raise the bar for the actuarial profession with respect to discussing and disclosing insurance risk calculations.


This seminar is designed to enhance the skills of the practicing actuary with regard to fitting and using and communicating results from loss reserve models. Emphasis in the seminar will be on the process of moving from deterministic methods for estimating a single point to stochastic models for estimating a distribution. The learning objectives include:

  • Review of Statistical Concepts
  • Understanding of Ranges vs. Distributions
  • Knowledge of Statistical Modeling Techniques
  • Hands on Use of Models, with Emphasis on Simulation Models
  • Understanding of Diagnostic Testing
  • Understanding of Model Strengths & Weaknesses
  • A Better Understanding of Quantifying and Communicating Uncertainty


The instructors are Mark R. Shapland, FCAS, ASA, MAAA, a Consulting Actuary in the Atlanta office of Milliman, Inc., and Louise A. Francis, FCAS, MAAA, a Consulting Principal for Francis Analytics & Actuarial Data Mining, Inc. Mr. Shapland was the chair of section three for the Reserve Variability report, has written a paper on a statistical approach for determining reasonable reserves, and has spoken on the topic of reserve variability at many CAS and international meetings. Ms. Francis is the CAS Vice President of R&D and won the Michelbacher award (1989) for a paper about using simulation to quantify variability.


The target audience for this seminar is actuaries that are new to statistical / probabilistic reserving or that wants a ground up refresher course. While some review of the theoretical underpinnings will be included, the emphasis will be on practical aspects of using stochastic models.


A review of basic statistical concepts and an exercise set will be sent out prior to the start of the seminar. Attendees are expected to understand these concepts and a pre-seminar teleconference may be scheduled to answer questions.

Attendees are encouraged to read sections 1 through 3.1(pages 1-24) of the Working Party on Quantifying Variability in Reserve Estimates final report prior to the seminar. However, no prior knowledge of the concepts and models in this report will be assumed. The seminar will be organized around the practical issues discussed in the Working Party report, including a hands-on look at several stochastic models.

Attendees are encouraged to bring the following:

  1. A laptop computer that has Microsoft Excel loaded (2003 or later version recommended - earlier versions should still work, but the instructors cannot guarantee this ahead of time). The instructors will be using and distributing Excel files and using add-in tools to do numerical calculations. Be sure that the Analysis ToolPak, Analysis ToolPak - VBA and Solver Add-Ins for Excel are installed on your machine. Files will be distributed on both a flash drive at the seminar.
  2. Questions for the instructors.
    • This will assist them in covering topics of interest to the audience.
    • Questions submitted via the registration form or email prior to the seminar will be given priority.
  3. Their own data for analysis provided that:
    • it can be shared with the other attendees,
    • it is 10 x 10 annual by annual symmetrical data,
    • it is submitted to the instructors at least two weeks prior to the seminar, and
    • the instructors reserve the right not to review specific data sets in class due to time constraints.

Attendance is limited to a maximum of 40 participants. Attendees will be selected on a first registered, first accepted basis. Participants are expected to bring their own laptop to the seminar.


October 20, 20102:00 pm – 5:00 pmReview of Homework on Basic Statistics (Optional)
October 21, 20108:00 am – 5:00 pmSeminar
October 22, 20108:00 am – 5:00 pmSeminar

For a complete detailed syllabus, please click below to download a PDF agenda. During the optional half day session, the instructors will review statistical functions and their properties, including Excel probability and statistics functions as well as how to generate random variables in Excel, in addition to reviewing all of the homework. This knowledge will be assumed during the main two days of the seminar and NO additional review of the homework will take place during the seminar. *Note: this is subject to change

Reserve Variability Syllabus

Registration Information and Fees:

REGISTRATION FEES (in U.S. Dollars)Received by
October 10
Received after
October 10
CAS Member, Active Candidate*$1,100$1,200

*Active candidates have attempted at least one actuarial exam in the last two years.


The seminar will be held at the:
Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner
8661 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

A limited number of rooms have been reserved for the evenings of Wednesday, October 20 and Thursday, October 21, at a rate of $189.00 per night for a single or double room, plus taxes. You must specify that you are with the Casualty Actuarial Society when making your reservations. Room reservations must be made by September 27, 2010.


The registration fee will be refunded for a cancellation received before October 10, 2010 less a $100 processing fee. Only written cancellations will be honored. Cancellation requests can be faxed to (703) 276-3108 and e-mailed to

Continuing Education Credits

The CAS Continuing Education Policy applies to all ACAS and FCAS members who provide Actuarial Services. Actuarial Services are defined in the CAS Code of Professional Conduct as “professional services provided to a Principal by an individual acting in the capacity of an actuary. Such services include the rendering of advice, recommendations, findings or opinions based upon actuarial considerations.” Members who are or could be subject to the continuing education requirements of a national actuarial organization can meet the requirements of the CAS Continuing Education Policy by satisfying the continuing education requirements established by a national actuarial organization recognized by the Policy. For further information regarding the CAS Continuing Education Policy please visit the CAS web site.

This activity may qualify for up to X CE Credits for CAS members. Participants should claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CAS members earn 1 CE Credit per 50 minutes of educational session time not to include breaks and/or lunch.

*The amount of CE credit that can be earned for participating in this activity must be assessed by the individual attendee. It also may be different for individuals who are subject to the requirements of organizations other than the Casualty Actuarial Society.


For questions regarding registration information/confirmation, please email All other meeting questions should be emailed to

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