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Insurance and Actuarial Talent Trends in 2019

Posted on March 2019

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​One clear trend emerges in the insurance industry — Artificial Intelligence has arrived. You may have already seen evidence of this such as algorithms in the actuarial back office all the way to chatbots for claims resolution. The AI disruption can be good for talent in this sector, as those who embrace these tools can stand out among the sea of competitors.

Using AI to Increase Competitiveness

AI has typically been about using machine learning to automate, iterate and optimizing models. In other words, AI insurance models feed off previous real-world events. The assumption here is that as AI technology matches risk data points to claims data points, future events will emulate the past.

What this means is that success depends on talented actuaries to provide data points and using AI in order to create pricing and instigate appropriate checks and balances. Those who embrace AI technology and use it to empower companies could evolve faster and capitalize on creating the best possible product.

Actuaries need to embrace AI in order to communicate effectively on how different risks can impact customers and price points. As more data and tools will become available, the industry will still rely on actuaries to process cases.

Humans Are Still Needed

There are some who predict that AI technology will eliminate human jobs completely for certain professions, including putting actuaries out of work. While machine learning has taken away certain tasks, current technology is still at a point where it needs humans to step in to intervene and govern. In other words, machines won’t completely eliminate actuarial teams in the foreseeable future.

Like mentioned before, we’re seeing trends where actuaries need to embrace these solutions — no matter how crude or incomplete they may be — so that machine learning becomes a tool that helps to enhance the quality of their work and therefore the organization. Companies will look to these skills as AI continues to evolve.

Evolved Roles

Even though machine learning will get more sophisticated, it cannot replace humans completely. Risk and claims data points are complex and there is no evidence so far that points to machine learning being able to come up with the types of judgment or innovation needed, including asking thought-provoking questions or thinking up worst case scenarios.

Machine learning will require actuaries to tackle new problems or create new opportunities for their companies. Instead of analyzing data points as a skill, top talent in the near future could be hired for their critical thinking and problem solving skills such as market price reconstruction or innovative concepts to ensure customer retention.

That’s not to say tasks, such as fraud detection and advanced claims handling, will be taken over by AI anytime soon. Companies will still need actuaries who can use their current skill set. However, as more companies embrace machine learning, they’ll be looking towards talent who can keep up with trends and are willing to take on roles where it involves predicting and validate solutions for the future.

Get in touch with a Selby Jennings representative today to learn how you can connect with forward-thinking talent.


About Us

Selby Jennings is a leading specialist recruitment agency for banking and financial services. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Our continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, Selby Jennings provides contingency and retained search recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us to find out how Selby Jennings can help you.