Milliman’s Integrate® solution awarded Best Use of Cloud by Risk.net

Milliman today announced that its flagship technology solution for life insurance, Integrate®, was awarded Best Use of Cloud in the Risk Markets Technology Awards 2021. The awards, organized by Risk.net, honor top achievements across market risk, trading, and investment risk technologies.

Integrate represents a paradigm shift within the actuarial industry, delivering a comprehensive software as a service (SaaS)-based approach to managing all aspects of the actuarial value chain. Fully engineered to be cloud native, Integrate combines broad functionality, professional services, and operational support into a single platform.

“Insurance companies need faster, more detailed insights into their business without the burden of skyrocketing costs, something that other systems—which patch together various components—simply cannot provide,” said Pat Renzi, a principal at Milliman and CEO of the firm’s Life Technology Solutions Group. “Integrate was purposefully designed to deliver maximum flexibility and control while providing continuous, scalable improvements across the entire actuarial value chain. We’re honored to be recognized in this year’s Risk Market Technology Awards for our strategic use of the cloud in addressing modern-day actuarial needs.”

Integrate allows customers to leverage technology to provide faster, more reliable results. For example, in just the first three months of 2020 Integrate processed more than 25 million hours running actuarial analysis in the cloud. Integrate’s holistic approach delivers:

  • Exceptional scalability for calculations and data analytics powered by Microsoft Azure
  • Automated and controlled end-to-end workflow for production cycles
  • Professional Services and Cloud Operations Support tailored to client needs
  • Robust support for complex regulations such as Solvency II (standard formula and internal model risk distribution calculations), International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17, performance-based regulation (PBR). and Long Duration Targeted Improvements (LDTI)

Winners of the Risk Market Technology Awards take part in a lengthy judging process that includes evaluation of pitch documents, off-the-record meetings, and a comprehensive due diligence phase. Read more about Risk.net’s decision in awarding Integrate Best Use of Cloud here.

Lapse risk reinsurance

In July 2020, Milliman published the research report “Reinsurance as a capital management tool for life insurers.” This report was written by our consultants Eamon Comerford, Paul Fulcher, Rik van Beers and myself.

Capital management is an increasingly important topic for insurers as they look to find ways to manage their risks and the related capital requirements and to optimise their solvency balance sheets. Reinsurance is one of the key capital management tools available to insurers. The paper investigates common reinsurance strategies, along with new developments and innovative strategies that could be implemented by companies.

This blog post is the ninth in a series of posts about this research. Each post provides an overview of a certain section of the Milliman report.

Lapse risk reinsurance

One of the largest capital requirements for most life insurers arises in respect of lapse risk, which results from adverse changes in policy surrenders, paid-ups and other discontinuances. For most business, higher-than-expected policy lapses result in the loss of profitable policies, although the converse is sometimes the case, with the risk of loss-making policies remaining in force for longer durations.

The focus of this post is on lapse reinsurance, which can be designed to cover the lapse stresses under Solvency II, where the reinsurer pays out if lapses are higher or lower than expected. Lapse risk reinsurance solutions mainly focus on tail risk transfer and Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) reduction, rather than full lapse risk transfer. A 100% quota-share reinsurance of a block of business fully transfers lapse risk, in the absence of other risks, if full lapse risk transfer is required.

Lapse reinsurance transactions are written to be “out-of-the-money” at inception, so may be a low-cost way to transfer lapse risk. An insurer considering entering a lapse reinsurance contract will reinsure the biting SCR lapse stress, thus allowing the insurer to hold less capital against the biting lapse risk. This structured reinsurance strategy is most likely to be used by an insurer calculating its Solvency II capital requirements using the Standard Formula (SF). The strategy is most practical where the biting lapse stress requires significantly more capital than the other lapses stress. If any of the other lapse stresses are at a similar level of magnitude, the usefulness of a reinsurance arrangement just covering one type of lapse stress as a capital relief tool is minimal. In this case, it may be necessary to use a lapse reinsurance strategy that covers multiple lapse stresses.

Overview

Lapse risk exists on most portfolios of life insurance business other than business for which lapses are not possible, such as traditional whole-of-life annuities. There are three main types of lapse reinsurance currently in existence, one for each of the three prescribed shocks under the SF, as shown in Figure 1.

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Understanding California’s wildfire risk score model

In California, the number of acres burned per wildfire and structures damaged per acre have increased since 2013. Relentless years of devastating wildfires are stretching the California homeowners insurance industry to its limits with losses of $37 billion outstripping premiums of $32 billion since 2016. 

Faced with the inability to recover all the costs of insuring California wildfires, the California admitted insurance market has been reducing its wildfire exposure. Stricter underwriting eligibility guidelines and higher rates for wildfire-exposed properties have pushed more policyholders into secondary markets, such as the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan. The FAIR Plan is design to accept properties that are having difficulty in finding insurance in the market and does not decline risks due to wildfire exposure. 

To better understand its exposure to wildfire, the FAIR Plan asked Zesty.ai, Inc., a company that provides a wildfire risk score model, to score the FAIR Plan properties relative to wildfire risk. To read more about the FAIR Plan and Zesty.ai’s risk score model, read this paper by Milliman’s Annie ShenSheri Scott, and Katherine Dalis. It is the second in a series of articles examining California wildfire risk and tools that could be used to identify, quantify, and mitigate this risk. 

Milliman’s latest Arius release provides enhanced cash flow analysis to help actuaries with business planning and international reporting

Milliman announced today that it has released the latest version of its Arius® solutions, a family of state-of-the-art reserve analysis systems for property and casualty insurers. This update provides significant enhancements to the systems’ analytical, reporting, and data management tools.

This release provides expanded cash flow analysis and reporting to help actuaries and insurance analysts more easily address IFRS 17, Solvency II, and other management requirements. It also provides enhanced interpolation and extrapolation capabilities so that actuaries can take full advantage of valuable historical and industry data.

In addition, the new release of Arius Enterprise® – Milliman’s reserving solution designed specifically for larger insurers and self-insureds – now takes advantage of Microsoft’s Azure Data Explorer (ADX) for high-performance processing of very large datasets.  ADX is a new Azure-based database technology that provides significant performance improvements over traditional technologies for the vast amounts of data available to insurers. With ADX, Arius can execute complex data queries up to 30 times faster than traditional database solutions, aggregating large volumes of claims data – even billions of records – without incurring performance costs.

Our clients are continually finding additional ways that Arius can improve the efficiency and reliability of their overall reserving process. These latest enhancements in analysis, reporting, and data handling will allow actuaries to analyze their results in more detail and provide richer reporting and more informed management decision-making.

Regulating climate-related risks

The social and economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on our lives over the course of 2020. It has been argued, though, that the changes we have seen over 2020 pale in comparison to the expected impact that climate change will have on our societies and economies. Some predict that we have just 10 years to act on climate change before the damage to the planet is irreversible.  

With this in mind, regulators are looking to the financial services industry to better understand the challenges posed by climate risk, including a transition to a low-carbon economy. This briefing note by Milliman’s Sinéad ClarkeOrlaith Lehane and Eóin Stack provides a beginner’s guide to climate risk for Irish insurers. It includes a high-level introduction to climate-related risks and information on what the Central Bank of Ireland and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority are currently doing in relation to climate risk in addition to an overview of the approach taken by regulators in the UK. 

Insurers in Asia report steady embedded value growth amid COVID-19 pandemic

Milliman today released its annual ‘2020 mid-year embedded value results: Asia’ report. This update supplements the ‘2019 embedded value results: Asia’ report released in September 2020, and includes 2020 mid-year embedded value (EV) and value of new business (VNB) results posted by major multinational and domestic life insurers across Asia.

“Most companies in the region recorded steady EV growth in the first half of 2020 despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Milliman Principal and Consulting Actuary Paul Sinnott. “The growth in VNB was mixed across Asian markets, with new business sales in some markets severely affected by government restrictions in response to the coronavirus.”

A complimentary copy of the report is available for download here.

A few key insights from the report include:

  • The China and Japan markets led EV growth in the Asia region with most insurers recording double-digit growth in EV.
  • When compared with the first half of 2019, changes in VNB and new business margins in the first half of 2020 were varied. China, which entered and exited lockdown earlier than other Asian markets, was less affected than most VNB, growth-wise. In Hong Kong, the continuing social unrest, restrictions on travel from mainland China, virus-related lockdowns and lower interest rates all contributed to a significant decline in VNB.  
  • All multinationals disclosing results reported a decline in VNB, which they commonly attributed to lower new business sales, unfavourable economic changes and changes to operating assumptions in key markets.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a greater focus on product innovation and digital transformation across the region. Insurers and regulators have taken steps to facilitate digital sales in response to lockdowns and social distancing measures adopted by most governments. This helped insurers in some markets mitigate reductions in sales to an extent.
  • The pandemic has also typically increased demand for protection products across Asia.

For more details, please contact Paul Sinnott in Hong Kong at paul.sinnott@milliman.com.