This is the next installment in a series of conversations with AAIS leadership to get to know them, their background, and the unique work they’re doing within AAIS to further the insurance industry. In this edition, AAIS Views spoke with Michael Payne, Chief Pricing Actuary, about his career, being creative as an actuary, the role data is playing to create better pricing models, and how AAIS is leveraging those models to deliver value to our Members.
Tell us about your background.
Michael Payne: When I was in college, I liked math, but really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then I heard about Actuarial Science from an alum who came back to campus and gave a presentation about the career path. That’s what sparked my interest. I got an internship at Zurich and that turned into my first job out of school. I started out doing pricing at Zurich, went to SCOR Re to do reinsurance pricing, and went back to Zurich to eventually lead a pricing tools team.
One not-so-traditional role in my career was a stint I did at Sears in their Home Services unit where I was the Director of Underwriting Analysis. Basically, if you bought a refrigerator at Sears, they were going to offer you a protection plan. It was my role to figure out the prices for those protection agreements based on how likely the appliance was going to need to be repaired or even replaced.
Overall, I really like pricing. It’s prospective in nature as you try to determine what might happen in the future.
In the winter of 2018, I joined AAIS where I’ve been able to leverage my pricing experience. My role includes product development and delivering loss costs that are appropriate for the coverage being offered. Not all carriers have a large team of actuaries or loads of data, so our rating plans offer them a faster speed to market for a new line of business, or even insurtechs to get their first policies written.