Written by Dan Johnson

Python for the insurance industry: hx workshop recap

Dan Johnson, Head of Learning, shares a recap of the first-ever hyperexponential Python workshop, bringing actuaries together for a hands-on session to expand their python skills.

At hyperexponential, we believe listening to customers and constantly evaluating the state of our industry is essential. As an insurtech scaleup focused on the specialty and commercial market, the more we listen to customers, the better we're positioned to help them solve problems and grow their businesses.

Working as the hx Head of Learning, I've had lots of sessions with our customers to understand their challenges, and something that has consistently come up in these sessions is the technology skills gap in the insurance industry. In my time at hx, I've learned that although the insurance industry deals with billions of pounds in risk, so much of this process is still managed in very complicated, extensive spreadsheets. This process could be optimised by leveraging technology tools to automate model development and increase efficiency in risk pricing.

Many seasoned actuaries in the insurance industry started out managing numbers in Excel. The thing is, they didn't necessarily stop when the calculations got very complex. Well, if it isn't broken, don't fix it, right? 

Unfortunately, it is broken. The current generation of actuaries joining the workforce likely learned programming as part of their studies. They have several powerful tools at their disposal and are keen to use them. However, when they join established insurance companies, they cannot demonstrate these skills as the companies have yet to adopt the necessary technologies to increase efficiency and promote focus on actual actuarial work. This ultimately results in reduced job satisfaction and employee churn.

So, why isn't everyone switching to programming solutions? It's all about the barriers to entry. Jason Morris has an excellent article on this in his blog, Code vs No-Code. As Jason excellently articulates, if you are not a competent coder, it's hard to see the efficiency coding can bring to solving business problems.

At hx, we see the efficiencies technology brings to actuaries and model builders, and we want to share that knowledge. On the 14th of October, I hosted our first ‘Python for Insurance’ workshop, with presentations and hands-on sessions led by hx model development experts Dom Allgood, Rob Williams, and Jon Bowden.

Thirty attendees from twelve insurance companies joined us for a great afternoon, getting stuck in experimenting with code and how to build pricing models within hx's Renew platform. We explored how a coding approach can keep insurance companies at the front of a market increasingly focusing on a technical advantage.

From the awesome feedback we received from our attendees, we'll certainly be offering this session again in the future. We're delighted to help insurers gain the skills required to adopt technology and improve business processes and, ultimately, business results.

If you'd like to learn more about how hx is leveraging technology to help actuaries build better pricing models with increased efficiency, check this resource. If you'd like to register your interest for a future session, please let us know here