Notes from the 2nd R in Insurance Conference

July 22, 2014

(This article was first published on mages' blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The 2nd R in Insurance conference took place last Monday, 14 July, at Cass Business School London.

This one-day conference focused once more on applications in insurance and actuarial science that use R. Topics covered included reserving, pricing, loss modelling, the use of R in a production environment and more.

In the first plenary session, Montserrat Guillen (Riskcenter, University of Barcelona) and Leo Guelman (Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Insurance) spoke about the rise of uplift models. These predictive models are used for improved targeting of policyholders by marketing campaigns, through the use of experimental data. The presenters illustrated the use of their uplift package (available on CRAN), which they have developed for such applications.

Thereafter, the programme consisted of a combination of contributed presentations and lightning talks, as well as a panel discusson on R at the interface of practitioner / academic interraction. The panel, drawn from academia and practice, discussed the efforts made in bridging through the use of R cultural and communication divides, as well as the challenges of developing collaborative business models that respond to market needs and the incentives of academic researchers.

In the closing plenary, Arthur Charpentier (Professor of Actuarial Science at UQAM, Canada) gave a non-Bayesian’s account of Bayesian modelling in R. While many are sympathetic to the Bayesian paradigm, it is easy access to computational tools that makes its wider application a realistic prospect. The presenter demonstrated how Bayesian methods can be used to offer alternative analyses of standard actuarial problems.

The audience of the conference included both practitioners (70%) and academics (30%) who are active or interested in the applications of R in Insurance. It was a truly international event with speakers and delegates from many different countries, including USA, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Argentina, France, Spain and of course the UK. The coffee breaks and conference dinner at Ironmongers Hall offered great networking opportunities.

All conference presentations are available on request.

Finally, we are grateful to our sponsors Mango Solutions, CYBAEA, PwC and RStudio. This conference would not have been possible without their generous support.

R in Insurance 2015

We are delighted to announce next year’s event already. Following two years in London at Cass Business School, the conference will travel across the Channel to Amsterdam, 29 June 2015.

We are looking forward to seeing you there. Further details will be published on

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