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  #1  
Old 08-29-2010, 01:22 AM
FauxShaux FauxShaux is offline
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Default Underwriters Vs. Actuaries

Hi, I was wondering what are the similarities and differences between what actuaries and underwriters do.

I have searched for this on the forum but there wasnt too much information. A lot of what I found was general talk about the two professions and didnt clarify their actual day to day.

From what I understand, Underwriters measure risk of an insurance plan or a policy holder and then use math and logical reasoning to price these insurance plans and create new plans. I was under the impression that this is exactly what actuaries do. So whats the difference?

Also, Im not 100% sure on what all actuaries do. Where can I find more information about different actuary roles and what their work entails?
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2010, 01:27 AM
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dukelampard dukelampard is online now
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www.beanactuary.org haha.

Underwriters deal with actual policy applications and make sure they fit criteria pre-determined by an insurer. It seems like underwriting is a dying profession though.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:29 AM
laviniu laviniu is offline
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Underwriter: Ben Stiller in "Along came Polly" (2004)
Actuary: Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt" (2002)
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:36 AM
FauxShaux FauxShaux is offline
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so i found an interesting post by DW Simpson

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...&postcount=116

still the answers about day to day dont get very specific, a straight honest specific answer would be nice
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2010, 02:05 AM
laviniu laviniu is offline
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Noob here, so take it with a grain of salt. Actuaries make assumptions, and create the tools (i.e some form of software or processes) to quantify the rate, or premium, needed in order to add a certain individual or group (having certain risk factors) to a risk pool. Underwriters are the dudes who use those tools/processes, and determine exactly which are the relevant risk factors that apply to those particular individual or groups. They make a decision if it's worth adding those potential clients to the risk pool. They check assumptions too. Their role is that of the "risk selection", which is another very important way of how the insurance companies make a profit.

Actuaries can do other things, such as reserving (calculate the sum of money needed to cover most of the claims), financial reporting, hedge the variable or indexed annuities, pension funds related work, such as estimating the amount of money required to be added to the fund in order to match the future liabilities, "party pooping" some ideas that some hot shots in certain companies come up with, and will certainly lead to ruin etc...

Anyway, watch those movies. Ben Stiller is an underwriter, and inputs all kind of data in certain program called "Risk Master", who I assume was developed by some actuary dudes, or with a lot of input from actuaries.

Peace,
Lav
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:43 AM
PhildeTruth PhildeTruth is offline
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underwriters get laid more
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:11 AM
MelonPicklesMayo MelonPicklesMayo is offline
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actuaries get paid more
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:20 AM
Simon Moon Simon Moon is offline
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Underwriter: We have to write this account at 20% below indications to win the business.
Actuary: But then the account will lose money. No way!
Underwriter: If we don't hit our growth targets for the year my boss will kill me.
Actuary: If we don't hit our combined ratio targets for the year my boss will kill me.
Underwriter: OK, we'll split the difference. I'll quote a 10% deviation, but I'll still blame you two years from now when the account is losing money.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:49 PM
FauxShaux FauxShaux is offline
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So would I be correct in assuming that:

1. Actuaries work closely with Underwriters in most companies
2. Actuaries create models, Underwriters use them
3. Actuaries provide underwriters with information, Underwriters take that information and figure out how it applies to a specific insurance and who to/not to accept and what exclusions to apply to it. Then the underwriters would package that insurance and send it to the salespeople who would sell sell sell.
4. Actuaries:Underwriters is similar to Quants:Traders?
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:49 PM
annuitize annuitize is offline
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Underwriters type policyholder characteristics into a black-box to get the premium rate. Actuaries design and maintain the "black-box". Underwriters are insurance's glorified version of a cashier.
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