Why Python is the best programming language for forward-thinking insurers


Python is the right programming language for forward-thinking insurers, according to hyperexponential (hx), a SaaS pricing platform for insurers.

According to Dan Johnson, head of learning at hx, a programmatical approach to managing insurance modelling is better than building increasingly complex spreadsheets. What’s more, in order to help the insurance industry deliver against the many complexities in model development, Python is the best programming language.

Founded in 2017 by software engineers and qualified actuaries Amrit Santhirasenan and Michael Johnson, hx provides next-generation pricing software solutions.

The company’s SaaS platform, Renew, helps insurers build, deploy and update their insurance pricing models faster. hx also offers exploratory data analysis (EDA) services to help insurers optimise their data processing and build better models.

Programming languages

Johnson acknowledged that there is a large amount of programming languages, approximately around 9,000. This makes making an informed decision all the more important.

The search can be narrowed down by filtering for a popular language, to enable hiring to be quicker and easier, and by searching for a language that is well-suite to the work it will be used for.

Of the first criteria, Python apparently ranks number one in popularity since late 2021. In order to determine how it fares with its suitability to actuarial work, Johnson said he made a poll at an event for actuaries representing 15 independent companies.

Participants were invited to rank the six options displayed according to how frequently they use each language. Visual Basic ranked first, Python second, and R third.

Finding the skills

According to Johnson, actuaries who are currently modelling risks using, for example, Visual Basic in Excel will find translating those models to a different language a relatively easy task.

Furthermore, he added that if companies look within their teams, they will be pleasantly surprised. Anyone who graduated with an actuarial-related degree in the last ten years will have had a programming element in their course.

Keeping ahead of the competition

Although sticking with the known is the most comfortable and easy option, Johnson argues that this is not the most progressive or rewarding decision. To keep ahead of the competition, insurance organisations must use the best tools.

Furthermore, to hire and retain the best staff, Johnson said it is crucial to provide the best options to reduce effort and increase efficiency.

hx believes that the Python programming language is best equipped to handle the complexities of insurance modelling. For this reason, the company leverages it in it its pricing tool hx Renew.

You can read the full post here.

In December last year, hx launched a research report highlighting the importance of pricing transformation for specialty insurers.

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