The P&C Actuarial Seminars are opportunities for you to learn and share trending actuarial topics and concepts in the P&C industries. Participants will read/bring article(s) to the group and summarize important points and/or ask questions you have which the article didn’t answer.  The discussion is not a formal presentation or a test. It’s an opportunity to explore new insurance concepts in a safe environment without pressure or judging. A minimal amount of preparation is needed on the part of participants to make the discussion worthwhile. You will usually read 1-2 articles and be prepared to join our discussion.

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Co-host: Professor Janet Duncan


Janet is a property-casualty Actuarial Consultant with many years experience in Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Self Insurance.

She was formerly the CFO of XL Capital (Europe) and the Senior Vice-President and Actuary responsible for reserving and financial reporting at CNA Insurance in Chicago.

Janet is now a Visiting Professor at UCSB and sits on the SOA General Insurance Research Committee.

Goals of Discussion:

  • Learn about real-life P&C issues
  • Learn about what actuaries think about / consider
  • Share ideas and practice communication skills in a welcoming and pressure-free environment
  • Have fun and enjoy networking with fellow actuarial students


Topics can be anything that interests the group.  Topics often relate to newsworthy events because the news often impacts P/C insurance.  Professor Duncan will try to come up with questions to point you in the right direction when you look for articles.  Examples of past discussions have included some of the following topics:

  • Insurance Fraud in auto insurance, worker’s compensation, property insurance, etc.
  • Catastrophes or one particular type of catastrophe, e.g., wildfire, tornado, earthquake
  • Pet Insurance – What does it cover?  What does it exclude?  How big is the industry?  Who sells this?  Who buys this?
  • Kobe Bryant helicopter crash – what insurance coverages are involved?
  • Cyber Risk – this is a broad topic so we’d have to be more specific, e.g., identity theft, or ransomware, etc.  How prevalent is this?  What’s covered? What’s excluded?

Our first topic will be COVID because this has had a significant effect on several P/C coverages, e.g., Business Interruption coverage (e.g., for restaurants), Workers Compensation coverage, Auto Insurance, Travel Insurance.  There’s too much out there to research all the coverages, so I would pick one coverage that interests you and read 1-2 articles.  Questions to think about and discuss as a group include some of the following:

  • What’s covered by insurance? Why?
  • What’s not covered?  Why?
  • How exactly is the coverage affected, i.e., does it affect the frequency of loss (i.e., the probability of a loss happening) or does it affect the severity (size) of loss?  
  • Is it a short-term effect or a long-term effect?