Articles

Some of my recent articles (published in the press and in-house corporate Risk Management magazines):
 

2015 - Finance Monthly

"Spotlight on Insurance Advisory Services"

John Birkenhead talks to Finance Monthly about misconceptions about what actuaries really do and why insureds should have an actuary on their side for all insurance-related activity.

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2015 - Mathematics Today

"Are you paying too much for your car insurance?"

Based on "Multivariate Models, Probabilities of Ruin & League Tables - Are you paying too much for your car insurance" - voted best talk at Early Career Mathematicians conference 2014.

 

 

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2009 - ALARM Matters
"Are You Over-Insured?"
 
Local (and police) authorities, as public bodies, are exempt from the usual "compulsory" insurances such as EL, Motor Third Party etc., so why do they typically spend over £1m p.a. buying a range of insurance programmes, with varying (sometimes £nil) excesses  per policy? This provocative article challenges the convential insurance-buying strategy of such public bodies and outlines alternative risk retention philosophies and risk financing mechanisms.
 
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2008 - ALARM Matters
"Extreme Claims"
 
The UK floods in 2007 are estimated to have cost insurers £2billion and are now reckoned to have been a “1 in 200 year” UK flood event. How do insurers price for such “extreme” claims with hardly any past claims data to go on? How does this affect the insurance coverage and premiums for local authorities’ property and liability risks?
 
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2007 - ALARM Matters
"The True Cost of Your Premiums"
  
Local authority insureds are often unaware of the "true" cost of their premiums. John Birkenhead, an independent consulting actuary, answers some common questions from ALARM members, and, in doing so, reveals the "true" cost of insurance premiums.
  

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2007 - Catastrophe Risk Management
"World Records, Catastrophes and Extreme Value Theory"
  
For curiosity or betting, or for insurance and risk management  purposes, we often require estimates of how "extreme" the values might be over a given time period. This article introduces the concepts of "Extreme Value Theory" (EVT) and gives examples of practical applications of EVT for the insurance and risk management of "extreme value" risks.
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2007 - AIRMIC News
"The Mathematics of Risk"
  
With insurers adopting a more technical approach to underwriting, the old rules of what constitutes a 'good risk' are changing. John Birkenhead, an independent consulting actuary, answers some common questions from AIRMIC members.
  

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2007 - Mathematics Today
"The Mathematics of Corporate Insurance"
  
This article takes an introductory look at some of the mathematical issues faced by insurers when setting premiums for various classes of corporate insurance. 
 
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2005 - Client in-house Risk Management magazine
"The price of risk"
  
This article considers the factors which an insurer considers when setting the premiums for large, complex global risks.
  

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2004 - Insurance Brokers Monthly
"Getting together at last"
  
Brokers are increasingly working with actuaries as change overtakes the intermediary market. This article explains what has happened.
  

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2003 - POST Magazine
"A new world order"
  
Local authorities are now operating in a "new world" of increased financial risk to their insurance funds as the so-called compensation culture sees claims rise; this article reports on the strategies being employed to deal with this.
  

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2003 - Public Treasurer
"Insurers are changing the rules, and treasurers must not slip up"
  
The rapid increase in public liability claims being made against councils has raised the profile of local authority insurance funds. Whereas in the past some of these claims would have been recovered from the authority's insurers, following the recent reductions in available insurance cover, councils are facing these increased claims costs alone, placing increased budgetary pressures on the authority. This article looks at how treasurers can "be prepared" and the benefits of regular actuarial valuations of the authority's insurance fund.
  

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