Masterclass #2: The Insurance Risk Landscape: An Eclectic Survey

by Michael R. Powers
The production of this masterclass is scheduled for the second half of 2022. 

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“The Insurance-Risk Landscape: An Eclectic Survey” is a Masterclass video series written and narrated by Professor Michael R. Powers of Tsinghua University.

Through a collection of eight engaging episodes, Professor Powers navigates the metaphorical landscape formed by the many manifestations of insurance risk — from natural and man-made perils to insurance company insolvency. Along the way, he stops to explore some of the most intriguing twists and turns in the landscape, with an ability to make the complex simple and the simple profound.

The eclectic choice of topics includes:

  • the origins of insurance, with relevant insights for today’s markets;
  • the roles of randomness, complexity, and uncertainty in generating losses;
  • rationales for the most commonly used frequency and severity distributions;
  • the interplay between hedging and diversification in risk finance;
  • explanations (and common misconceptions) of insurability and underwriting criteria;
  • the meaning and implications of heavy-tailed losses;
  • the nature of the property-liability underwriting “cycle”;
  • the opposing effects of advancing technologies on insurance markets.

In discussing technical matters, Professor Powers prefers intuitive storytelling to excessive mathematical notation, without sacrificing intellectual substance. His thoughtful, yet fast-paced approach makes this online masterclass accessible and entertaining viewing for both actuaries and experienced insurance professionals across the sector.