Saturday, 23 March 2019

Nan Shan Life funding data center at Soochow

An Actuarial Mathematics and Big Data Center is to be built at Soochow University, with the help of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co Ltd (南山人壽), school and company officials announced yesterday.

The company is to donate NT$1.8 million (US$58,689) annually over the next three years for the center.

Data-intensive firms, such as insurance companies, rely on actuarial science to determine the relative risks of insurance policies, and global data are expected to grow at a pace of 50 percent a year, which means insurance firms will need more actuaries, Nan Shan said.

The research center could help train more actuaries, who could then find jobs at insurance firms, it said.

The center would also provide a platform for professors to conduct research and provide solutions to insurance-related problems, including preventing adverse selection, the university said.

Adverse selection happens when insurers set average prices for policies, but only those in dangerous jobs or who have high-risk lifestyles actually purchase polices, which leads insurers to reduce their exposure to large claims by limiting coverage or raising premiums.

For example, diabetics used to have trouble buying insurance as they were regarded as high-risk individuals.

Some diabetics are actually low-risk, because they exercise and maintain healthy diets, Finance Engineering and Actuarial Mathematics Department chair Linus Chan (詹芳書) said.

The finding allowed low-risk diabetics to obtain insurance, Chan said, adding that his team is conducting research on people with liver and eye diseases in the hopes they might be helped as well.

The research team is also to focus on investment-linked insurance, fintech and artificial intelligence, he said.

Nan Shan said it would provide scholarships and internships to students from the university.

However, privacy regulations mean the center would not be able to analyze data on Nan Shan’s clients, but the researchers could provide consultation and other information, Chan said.


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