What is the Casualty Actuarial Society?

D. Poupon

The Casualty Actuarial Society is a professional association of non-life actuaries, or risk management professionals who work in industries other than life insurance. The society was started at the turn of the 20th century by the actuary Dr. I.M. Rubinow to study the effects of worker compensation on insurance. The society's main goal is educating members and the general public about actuarial analysis of property and liability risk. Membership in the society is gained after the completion of a series of rigorous exams. The role of the Casualty Actuarial Society has grown in recent years, especially in managing actuarial risk linked to financial markets.

Man climbing a rope
Man climbing a rope

Actuaries study past events and current trends in order to predict future outcomes using scientific methods. The non-life insurance industry uses actuaries to study potential exposition to risks such as fire, theft, and business interruption. The Casualty Actuarial Society was developed as a forum for actuaries to share methods for calculating risks and techniques for making the necessary actuarial adjustment when losses occur.

There were 97 original members of the Casualty Actuarial Society when it was formed in 1914. As of 2010, the society boasts more than 5,000 members from all corners of the globe. Over the years, members have convened twice a year to discuss changes in casualty and property insurance, such as new markets and the effects of technology. Computers have radically changed many approaches to actuarial science, such as dynamic financial modeling and methods of calculating the actuarial basis of accounting, and the society is at the forefront of these innovations.

Educating and exchanging ideas is the foremost purpose of the Casualty Actuarial Society. The society offers a detailed syllabus of prerequisite topics and a list of materials in order to better understand non-life actuarial problems. It also provides a publication in which actuaries can report their research and findings in addition to their biannual symposiums. Finally, the society acts as a public presence that non-members can contact for further information about details of actuarial science, such as actuarial gain or loss.

Membership in the Casualty Actuarial Society is rather exclusive. Admittance as an associate occurs only after six exams are successfully completed that take up to a year each to prepare for, plus a course on professional conduct. Fellowship is earned after an additional three exams, for a total of nine completed exams. Once becoming a member, actuaries are qualified in either the United States or Canada, depending on the exam versions, but their statute is recognized in most parts of the world.

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