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The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is a professional society of actuaries. Its members are mainly involved in the property and casualty areas of the actuarial profession. The other main actuarial organization of its type in North America, the Society of Actuaries (SOA), is composed mostly of actuaries involved in pensions, life and health insurance.
The two levels of CAS membership are Associate (ACAS) and Fellow (FCAS). Requirements for these levels of membership include a comprehensive series of exams. Topics covered in the exams include mathematics, finance, economics, insurance, enterprise risk management, and actuarial science. Another class of CAS membership, Affiliate, includes qualified actuaries who practice in property-casualty insurance but do not meet the qualifications to become an Associate or Fellow.
The society was founded in 1914 and originally named the Casualty Actuarial and Statistical Society. The present name was adopted in 1922. The society's first president was I. M. Rubinow, who played a key role in its formation. There were 97 founding members of the society.
The CAS was at first primarily concerned with problems of workers compensation insurance, which was introduced in the United States in the early 20th century. Eventually members of the society worked on all types of property-casualty insurance, including coverages for automobiles, homes and businesses. The society has now grown to over 4,000 members. Although most members live and practice in the United States, a significant number work in other countries.
Members of the CAS are employed by insurance companies, reinsurance companies, insurance brokers, educational institutions, ratemaking organizations, state insurance departments, the federal government, independent consulting firms, and non-traditional employers. There are a number of regional affiliates of the CAS, along with several special interest sections.
The CAS requires Associates and Fellows to qualify through a series of rigorous actuarial exams covering all aspects of actuarial practice. Passing the first seven exams qualifies an actuary for the Associateship designation; passing two additional exams is required to become a Fellow. The exam process almost always takes a long time to complete, due to the low pass ratios and the difficulty of the syllabus material.
A number of the earlier exams are conducted jointly with the Society of Actuaries, and a relatively few actuaries have qualified as members of both the CAS and the SOA. Most members of the CAS (like most members of the SOA) are also members of the American Academy of Actuaries, the U.S. umbrella group for actuaries of all specialties. A smaller but still significant number are members of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the national organization of the actuarial profession in Canada.
The subject matter covered on each of the nine CAS examinations is as follows:
|3||Statistics and Actuarial Models|
|4||Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models|
|5||Introduction to Property and Casualty Insurance Ratemaking;|
|6||Reserving, Insurance Accounting Principles, Reinsurance, and Enterprise Risk Management|
|7||Nation-specific Examination (either Canada version or United States version): Annual Statement, Taxation, and Regulation|
|8||Investments and Financial Analysis|
|9||Advanced Ratemaking, Rate of Return, and Individual Risk Rating Plans|
The first four exams, known as "Preliminary Exams" consist largely of core mathematics related to actuarial science including probability, statistics, interest theory, life contingencies, and risk models. Exams 1, 2, & 4, recently renamed P, FM, and C, are common to both the SOA and the CAS. However, while the third examination of the SOA, which as of 2007 is given in two parts (Exams MLC and MFE), is accepted by the CAS, the reverse does not hold.
|Subject Matter||SOA Exam||CAS Exam||Table Key|
|Probability||P||Exam 1||Exam Interchangeable|
|Financial Mathematics||FM||Exam 2||Exam Interchangeable|
|Modeling||MFE and MLC||Exam 3F/3L||Exam 3F and MFE are jointly administered. CAS will give credit for MLC; SOA will not give credit for 3L.|
|Constructing Models||C||Exam 4||Exam Interchangeable|
This joint sponsorship allows students to work on some of the initial requirements before they choose a specific discipline to pursue. The syllabus has a tendency to be adjusted regularly, which makes comparing exams from different 5-year blocks somewhat difficult.
Upper-level exam topics for the CAS include: rate making, insurance accounting, loss reserving, and reinsurance. Fellowship exams for the CAS include such topics as advanced investments and finance, advanced rate making, and risk rating plans.
Publications and research
The society's members publish a large number of research papers on various aspects of property-casualty actuarial science. The society's oldest and most prestigious research publication was the annual Proceedings of the Casualty Actuarial Society. Beginning in 2006 the Proceedings no longer contained research papers but only administrative material in combination with the Society's Yearbook. Research papers are now published in a twice-yearly journal called Variance, and in other formats. This research material is maintained in an extensive, searchable online database at the society's web site (see "External links").
Meetings and administrative structure
The society holds two general meetings each year for the presentation of research papers and discussions about actuarial topics. Several other meetings, specializing in topics such as ratemaking, predictive modeling, loss reserving, or reinsurance are offered each year, along with a series of limited attendance seminars. Each of the regional affiliates also holds regular meetings.
The governing body of the society is the 15-member board of directors, elected by members who hold the Fellowship designation. The administration of the society is conducted by a President elected by the Fellows and seven board-elected Vice-Presidents responsible for administration, admissions, international activities, marketing and communications, professional education, research and development, and risk integration and enterprise risk management. These elected officials oversee a large number of task forces and committees composed of society members and others. The largest single committee is the Examination Committee, consisting of more than three hundred society members, who are responsible for writing and grading the CAS actuarial exams. A professional support staff works for the society and is located in Arlington, Virginia.