Research Emerging Topics

This page contains emerging research topics in risk management in a variety of areas. As new reports and studies on risk management become available, you’ll find them listed below. Most reports are in PDF format. 

Climate
U.S. Population

Climate

  • In this category of risk management studies and reports, you’ll find research that explores how climate risk may affect the finance and insurance industries.
  •  
  • Catastrophe & Climate Strategic Research Program Newsletter
    April 2022
    This newsletter highlights the Catastrophe & Climate Strategic Research Program. The April bonus editions covers the IPCC WG II Sixth Assessment Report.
  •  
  • Actuarial Weather Extremes: Iowa Tornados: March 5, 2022
    March 2022
    This report series identifies and examines weather extremes in North America. Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), NOAA Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) among others; the reports identify and summarize unusual or extreme single-day or multi-day weather events which are significant in an historical context. The most recent report covers the Iowa tornados on March 5, 2022.
  •  
  • TCFD Best Practices
    February 2022
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute commissioned a study to understand how insurers are responding to the framework used for climate disclosure practices, attempting to identify current practice and best and emerging practice. Used by firms to ensure they manage climate risk appropriately, the framework from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) focuses on disclosure of governance, risk management, strategy, and metrics.
  •  
  • Health and Hurricanes, Studying Disparate Health Impact of Extreme Climate Events, 2017-2020
    January 2022
    In this Society of Actuaries (SOA) Research Institute report, authored by consultants from Milliman, Inc. (Milliman) we aim to study the effects of hurricanes on human health: whether there is a relationship between hurricanes and the observed prevalence of healthcare utilization or certain health conditions among the affected population, whether this relationship can be observed through a healthcare utilization dataset, and whether there is an interaction between this observation and metrics of socioeconomic vulnerability.
  •  
  • Environmental Risk Series
    January 2022
    This report series explores various aspects of environmental risk.
  •  
  • From 9/11 to COVID-19: The Unthinkables Call for Essays
    December 2021
    Review the winning essays from the Catastrophe & Climate Strategic Research Program of the Society of Actuaries Research Institute (SOA).
  •  
  • Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Inland Flood Risk by Mid Century
    November 2021
    This report examines how inland flood risk and loss may change across the U.S. in the future because of climate change. The AIR Inland Flood Model for the U.S. and the AIR Hurricane Model for the U.S. were used to evaluate how changes in flooding will impact insurable losses in the future.
  •  
  • Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Wildfire Risk by Mid Century
    September 2021
    This report provides results from a recently conducted study using the AIR Wildfire Model for the United States and available climate and climate change information to estimate how climate change may influence wildfire losses to U.S. property by mid-century. The climate change conditioned catalogs were used to evaluate climate change impacts (relative change in losses) to the AIR Worldwide US Industry Exposure Database, with all factors other than area burned held constant.
  •  
  • Projected Changes in Insurability and Affordability of Insurance Coverages due to Climate Change
    September 2021
    The Society of Actuaries Catastrophe/Climate Strategic Research Program engaged Risk & Regulatory Consulting LLC (RRC) to conduct research on the projected changes in insurability and affordability of insurance coverages due to climate change. This report summarizes research results. Information regarding RRC can be found on their website at www.riskreg.com.
  •  
  • Actuarial Weather Extremes: Rainfall Totals for Hurricane Elsa  
    On June 29 a weather system formed in the central Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the Cabo Verde Islands. The system intensified as it traveled in a westerly direction across the Atlantic, achieving sufficient strength to be classified as a tropical storm on July 1, whereupon it was given the name “Elsa”.

  •  
  • Determining the Role of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Human Health Outcomes: A Case Study on Heat Related Illness Attribution
    February 2021

    This report is targeted to actuaries that are interested in identifying the adverse human health outcomes resulting from anthropogenic climate change. As the primary focus of actuarial research is to promote human health and minimize the preventable economic burden, this document also provides recommendations to mitigate against excess heat related illness (HRI) due to extreme heat.

  • COVID-19 Visualizations of Interest to Actuaries
    November 2020
    The SOA Catastrophe & Climate Strategic Research Program Steering Committee has sponsored these visualizations exploring the correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic and a theme of choice of the individual contributing authors.
  •  
  • Social Discounting - Application to the Risk Management of Climate Change
  • September 2020
  • A cost-benefit analysis plays a vital role in important social decision-making. The application of discount rates plays a crucial role in the quantitative portion of this analysis, especially when dealing with issues involving costs and benefits over prolonged periods. The objective of this paper is to discuss the factors that affect and should be considered in the development of social discount rates.
  •  
  • The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
    August 2020
    This paper has been published by the Catastrophe and Climate Strategic Research Program of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and is intended to be a part of ongoing education for actuaries on the topic of climate risks.

  •  
  • A Tool for Extracting Subsets of Data from GHCN Daily Dataset
    August 2020
    This Excel/VBA tool can extract temperature, precipitation and snowfall data from the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) daily weather dataset, and run tabulations on the extracted data.

  •  
  • Residential Flood Risk in the United States: Quantifying Flood Losses, Mortgage Risk and Sea Level Rise
    May 2020
    This report evaluates the impact and evolution of societal risk management due to projected future changes in frequency, severity, and variety of weather-related catastrophes.
  •  
  • Trends in Normalized Weather-Related Property Losses in the United States: 1960–2018
  • May 2020
  • This report uses the Spatial Hazards Events and Losses Database for the United States (SHELDUS) to examine trends in normalized weather-related property losses from 1960 to the present. “Normalized” losses reflect an adjustment to account for the growth of exposure between the year of each loss and 2018. Exposure growth was estimated using county-level census data on housing units and state-level data on housing prices.
  •  
  • International Catastrophe Pooling for Extreme Weather
    October 2019
    This research studies catastrophe insurance pools covering losses caused by extreme weather events.
  •  
  • 2018 Environmental Sustainability Essays
  • May 2019
  • The Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Climate & Environmental Sustainability Research Committee is pleased to present this essay collection, which focuses on unknown knowns: where we have data but the future looks different from the past.
  •  
  • Modeling, Measuring, and Pricing the Flood Risk 
    January 2019  
    This research will educate the actuarial community about the various shades of the flood risk, as well as about the state of the art in quantitative flood risk modeling.

  • Incorporation of Flood and Other Catastrophe Model Results into Pricing and Underwriting
    July 2018 
    This research report on the incorporation of flood and other catastrophe model results into pricing and underwriting is prepared by the authors for the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Society of Actuaries, and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

  • 2017 Environmental Sustainability Essays
    July 2018
    The Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Climate & Environmental Sustainability Research Committee is pleased to present this essay collection, which shows how actuaries incorporate the financial risks of environmental sustainability into their work for their employers or clients.

  • How Do They Know and What Could We Do? The Science of 21st Century Climate Projections and Opportunities for Actuaries
    May 2018
    This white paper provides actuaries with the necessary background and foundational scientific knowledge to understand global climate change and climate model projections for the 21st century.

  • Predictive Modeling of Surface Temperature Extremes over North America with Actuarial Applications in View
    April 2018
    This project obtains ensemble simulations of surface atmospheric temperature over North America.

  •  
  • Managing Climate and Carbon Risk in Investment Portfolios
    February 2018
    This report focuses on analyzing and managing climate change and carbon risk in the equity investment portfolios of insurance company and pension fund assets.

  • Climate, Weather, and Environmental Sources for Actuaries
    April 2017
    This report is a collection of sources that deal with the questions of how do scientists know, and what could actuaries do regarding climate change, environmental risks, and weather.
  •  
  • Climate Sources for Actuaries
    April 2017
    This research will initiate the development of a repository of information regarding existing climate and environmental sustainability research of interest to actuaries.

  • Improving Disaster Financing
    February 2017
    At a November 2016 workshop, “Improving Disaster Financing: Evaluating Policy Interventions in Disaster Insurance Markets,” the SOA sponsored new papers presented by world-renowned scholars on six governmental disaster insurance programs.
  •  
  • Actuaries Climate Index
    Updated Quarterly
  •  
  • Determining the Impact of Climate Change on Insurance Risk and the Global Community Phase 1: Key Climate Indicators
    November 2012

U.S. Population

The Society of Actuaries Research Institute has sponsored a program of research that utilizes U.S. Population Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to produce studies, tools and articles that may be of interest to its members and the public. See the list below for the publications released by the SOA Research Institute.

  •  
  • U.S. Population Mortality Observations – Updated with 2020 Experience
    January 2022
    This report covers the latest emerging trends in U.S. population mortality. The SOA relied upon data furnished by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Observations are based on the CDC’s recent release of 2020 mortality experience, along with prior mortality experience data from 1999 through 2019.
  •  
  • Life Expectancy Comparison
    October 2021
    A simple comparison of life expectancies for persons age 65 or age 25 in 2021 using various mortality tables. Also look at simple comparisons of probabilities in 2021 of living to age 100 for persons of various ages.
  •  
  • Analysis of Historical U.S. Population Mortality
    September
    The Mortality & Longevity Strategic Research Program Steering Committees is pleased to present a new report examining mortality improvement drivers in the U.S. for the period 1959-2016. The study identifies significant U.S. mortality improvement/deterioration trends since 1959 including, but not limited to, those described in the SOA report, Components of Historical Mortality Improvement, using cause-of-death and other relevant data sources to quantify the likely degree of causality.
  •  
  • U.S. Historical Population Mortality Rates 2000-2019
    August 2021
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to present historical U.S. population mortality rates by gender and single year of age for calendar years 2000-2019.
  •  
  • Interstate Variations in Mortality in the United States, 1959-2018
    The Mortality & Longevity Strategic Research Program Steering Committees is pleased to present a new report examining mortality differentials by state. Using recently updated data from the United States Mortality Database, this report presents an overview of historical mortality trends in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for the period 1959-2018.
  •  
  • U.S. Population Mortality Observations, Preview of 2020 Experience
    June 2021
    The COVID-19 (COVID) pandemic has increased the demand for data and analysis on the impact of COVID on U.S. population mortality. This report is based on 2020 provisional death data released by the CDC. An updated June 2021 report has been added, based on additional 2020 cause of death data from the CDC.
  •  
  • 2020 Excess Deaths in the U.S. General Population by Age and Sex, Updated May 2021
    May 2021
    This document describes an effort to measure the deaths in the US population relative to pre-pandemic expectations. The actual deaths used are as reported by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and we consider several different methods for setting the expectations, adjusting for the estimated mix by age, sex, and time of the year (seasonality).
  •  
  • Mortality by Socioeconomic Category in the United States
    January 2021
    Learn about mortality disparities in the U.S.
  •  
  • U.S. Population Mortality Observations – Updated with 2019 Experience
    January 2021
    This report covers the latest emerging trends in U.S. population mortality.
  •  
  • U.S. Historical Population Mortality Rates 2000-2018
    July 2020
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to present historical U.S. population mortality rates by gender and single year of age for calendar years 2000-2018.
  •  
  • U.S. Population Mortality by Race
    July 2020
    This report covers historical mortality from 1999-2018 by race as categorized by population data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) WONDER database. Mortality for all deaths and six specific causes of death are considered over this period. Additionally, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced mortality as a whole and this report shows the breakdown of COVID-19 deaths by race.
  •  
  • Projections of COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths, Updated April 24, 2020
    April 2020
    Since the outbreak began in January, numerous research groups throughout the world have developed models to forecast the number of deaths that could result from COVID-19. Dr. Thomas McAndrew and Dr. Nicholas Reich of the University of Massachusetts Amherst have, on a weekly basis beginning in mid-February, surveyed experts who are separately engaged in efforts to model the outbreak. This brief looks at these models.
  •  
  • US Population Mortality Observations - Updated with 2018 Experience
    March 2020
    This report covers the latest emerging trends in U.S. population mortality.
  •  
  • U.S. Historical Population Mortality Rates 2000-2017 
    August 2019           
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to present historical U.S. population mortality rates by gender and single year of age for calendar years 2000-2017.

  • U.S. Population Mortality Observations - Preview of 2018 Experience 
    June 2019          
    This report provides early insights into the level of U.S. population mortality in 2018.

  • Mortality and Morbidity Data Sources 
    March 2019          
    This report provides information on other mortality and morbidity data sources to consider. Some of these data sources are rich and complex. This report provides an overview of the data sources’ characteristics and a roadmap to delving into their details.

  • Drivers of U.S. Mortality Improvement Expert Panel Forum Report 
    January 2019          
    This report summarizes a daylong Expert Panel Forum discussion, which included experts from inside and outside the insurance/retirement industry, who were invited to participate in a discussion to provide input about drivers of U.S. mortality improvement for the short and long term.

  • US Population Mortality Observations - Updated with 2017 Experience
    January 2019         
    This report covers the latest emerging trends in U.S. population mortality.

  • U.S. Motor Vehicle Accident Deaths 1999-2016
    November 2018         
    This report examines historical U.S. motor vehicle accident mortality experience by age, gender, region, and other factors.

  • U.S. Historical Population Mortality Rates 2000-2016
    September 2018          
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to present historical U.S. population mortality rates by gender and single year of age for calendar years 2000-2016.

  • Overview of the United States Mortality DataBase
    July 2018 
    This report documents progress on a multi-year project initially funded by the United States National Institutes of Health (through grant #R01-AG010245) with additional support from the Research Expanding Boundaries Pool of the Society of Actuaries. The goal of the project is to foster research on geographic variability in survival within the United States by providing access to standardized historical mortality series for the 4 Census Regions, 9 Census Divisions and 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

  • Population Mortality Observations - Preview of 2017 Experience
    June 2018
    This report reviews estimates of 2017 U.S. population mortality experience from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System.

  • Population Mortality Observations  - Updated with 2016 Experience
    January 2018
    This report covers the latest emerging trends in U.S. population mortality.

  • Modeling and Management of Longevity Risk
    November 2017
    The Society of Actuaries (SOA), in a joint project with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), is creating research projects and education materials on Modeling and Management of Longevity Risk.

  • Components of Historical Mortality Improvement
    October 2017
    This report documents the “Components of Historical Mortality Improvement” project commissioned by the Longevity Advisory Group (LAG) of the Society of Actuaries.

  • Seasonal Influenza in the United States 2016‐2017
    September 2017
    Observations and commentary on the 2016‐2017 and recent flu seasons with relation to various mortality and morbidity measures available through the CDC.

  • US Population Mortality Rate Study - Variation by Age Group, Cause of Death and Region from 2000‐2015
    May 2017
    This report covers US regional population mortality experience during the period 2000-2015. The Society of Actuaries pursued the research as part its ongoing longevity and mortality research initiatives. The purpose of the research is to produce an overview of the differences and similarities in mortality by age group, time, cause of death and region (geographic and urban-rural) to better aid in the understanding of future expected mortality rates and the management of public programs and policy.

  • Expanding the Human Mortality Database to include Cause‐of‐Death Information
    February 2017
    The Human Mortality Database is a unique open‐access collection of detailed mortality and population data for 38 countries with complete and reliable vital registration and census data. This report overviews the development and completion of the HMD data series down to a cause of death level for an initial set of eight populations: Canada, Czech Republic, England and Wales, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

  • Potentially Preventable Deaths in the U.S.
    December 2016