Mathematics Alumnus

Matthew Collins

Position: Actuary
Company Name: AIPSO
Industry Sector: Finance and Insurance

What He Does

Matthew calculates automobile insurance rates at AIPSO, a non-profit company that services drivers who have been unable to obtain auto insurance elsewhere. He presents his results to Governing Committees made up of insurance company executives, prepares filings with state insurance departments, and addresses the concerns of the regulators or consulting actuaries reviewing the filings.

Math on the Job

Actuarial work uses probability and statistics, particularly when estimating losses for the coming year. Matt uses spreadsheets to adjust for recent trends such as the change in average costs over time due to inflation and other factors like jury awards, and development (the difference between the reserves set by adjusters when claims are reported and their ultimate settlement amounts). Most day-to-day calculations are algebraic, but understanding statistical distributions and regression allows Matt to adjust the methodology to handle unique situations.

Background

Matt received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education (Mathematics) from Rhode Island College in 1997. He spent one year working at Blue Cross as a dental underwriter, and has been at AIPSO since 1998. As a participant in the actuarial student program at AIPSO, Matt has passed the nine exams necessary to attain his fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society in 2005.

Advice for Students

  • Take courses in areas that require strong math skills, such as finance, accounting, or physics.
  • Develop your presentation skills by volunteering to speak to the public, especially about technical matters.
  • Do your homework and find out whether a professional credential is required in the career path you seek. Any progress you make before graduation demonstrates to potential employers your level of interest and commitment to the career.

Page last updated: Aug. 19, 2013