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Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. Michael E. Angelina, MAAA, ACAS Price Optimization Casualty Actuarial & Statistical Task Force NAIC 2014 Fall National Meeting November 16, 2014
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 2 Ratemaking Process – Step Back Regulatory Requirement – rates should be adequate, not excessive, or unfairly discriminatory Process (per EPIC Consulting) Actuaries determine expected losses, expenses, and profit loading Management makes adjustments to reflect business considerations, marketing, underwriting, and competitive conditions Regulators permit insurers to reflect judgment and competitive environment in rates Rate Filer (Insurer) must ensure that filed rates are adequate, not excessive, or unfairly discriminatory Actuaries can opine that the filed rates meet statutory standard if reasonably close to actuarial estimate Similar to reserving actuaries opining on held reserves
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 3 Price Optimization – defined by Earnix Systematic and statistical method to help an insurer estimate a rating plan factoring in a competitive environment Informs an insurer’s judgment when setting rates by producing suggested competitive adjustments to the actuarial indicated loss costs Utilizes a variety of applied mathematical techniques (linear, non- linear, integer programming) to analyze insurer’s data and other considerations Enables exhaustive search across thousands of pricing alternatives in multiple scenarios to assist insurers in comparative rate analysis Improves efficiency of rate setting process; Enables companies to more accurately predict the outcome of their rate decisions
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 4 Price Optimization – Proponents Compare price optimization to traditional rating approach Traditional approach: Base rate (loss cost) x adjustment factors Adjustment factors based on age, gender, territory, make, and model year Adjustments to rate based on market, regulatory, and other considerations –Filed rates may have been below actuarially derived loss cost Price Optimization: Base rate (loss cost) x adjustments Adjustments based on price optimization methodology Loss costs remain the foundation of the rate setting process Price optimization factors typically are designed to stay within certain constraints and may increase or decrease the indicated loss cost Actuarial standards still apply to the loss cost and potentially to the constraints Personal lines is a very competitive market as evidenced by advertising spent by large insurers Multi channel advertising though: Internet, television, radio, etc. Competition has decreased the size of the assigned risk markets
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 5 Price Optimization – Issues Price Optimization has generated controversy among some regulators and consumer advocates Do the resulting rates from price optimization models violate the requirement of: “not excessive nor unfairly discriminatory”? Relies on an analysis of the elasticity of demand of customers to raise prices above the cost-based estimate on some policyholders who are known to be less likely to change insurers when price increases are below a certain threshold Great inertia in the personal lines market (people tend not to shop much), as evidenced by recent survey Concern is that price optimization tries to find these policyholders Rates should be based on the cost of transferring risk, not ability or willingness to pay
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 6 Price Optimization – Questions How does price optimization fit within the actuarial profession? Cost-based resides with actuaries Where does the demand and competitive analysis reside? Should actuaries be involved in price optimization at all? Is price optimization ratemaking or NOT ratemaking? Actuarial Code of Conduct (Precept 1?) Should the actuary consider outcomes other than cost when making rates? Is price optimization consistent with: Statement of principles on ratemaking? Actuarial Standards of Practice? Actuarial practice notes (ratemaking practice note does not exist!)?
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 7 Price Optimization – Questions Does price optimization cross the lines into not excessive nor unfairly discriminatory? Has it already or is there a threshold? Is the threshold or constraint across the entire book or vary by class? What can and should be reviewed to ensure this line has not been crossed? Complexity of the rating model and variables Constraint utilized in price optimization five percent of indicated loss cost or 25 percent? Dispersion of final rates relative to indicated loss costs Are some coverages more affected than others? Analysis of dispersion of final rates by geographic region Differential between retention and new business rates Should the actuary be involved in price optimization with regard to final rates?
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Actuaries. All Rights Reserved. 8 Price Optimization For more information, contact: Lauren Pachman, Casualty Policy Analyst Pachman@actuary.org (202) 223-8196
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