Fundamentals of Insurance – Life, Death and Mathematics

The insurance industry provides financial safety for millions of families and organizations.  It represents a significant portion of total global asset under management.  It is also an industry that is undergoing vast transformation due to the rapid advancement in InsurTech, and thus, offering abundant of opportunities for innovation.  For someone who aspire a career in or purse further academic studies related to this sector, it is vital to develop an in-depth quantitative understanding of the insurance products and how they impact companies’ profitability and financials.  This course will lay the mathematical foundation as well as introduce the key financial concepts in understanding insurance risks.  It will also introduce some of the emerging trends where technology is transforming the industry.

The course will combine lectures, class discussions, and hands on exercises to understand the technical concepts and how they are applied in practice.  At the end of the course, students will complete a hands-on project in groups to simulate pricing a longevity swap for a larger insurance company.

  • Prerequisite: probability (such as Math/Stat 230, Math 340/Stat 231, or Math 238L/Eng 238L),
  • Some understanding of Finance is preferred (for example Math 581/Econ 673) but not required.
  • Exposure to linear regression is also preferred (at the level of Stats 210 or Math 238L or the willingness to self-learn). Intellectual curiosity and independent study habit are strongly desired.

About the instructor

This course will be led by Jason Xue.  Jason has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry.  He is currently Global Head of Insurance Risk at MetLife. Prior to MetLife, Jason has held various leadership positions at Guardian Life, AXA, and Towers Watson.  Jason holds a B.S in Mechanics from Peking University, a M.S in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a MS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. He taught similar course at Columbia University in recent years.