COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, coronavirus, have caught the world by surprise, and currently much of the global population is under lockdown to try and contain the spread.
While the outlook looks bleak, actuaries can do much to help; some of that expertise will be reflected in the pages that follow.
At time of writing, the numbers affected in the UK are still relatively low. However, Matthew Edwards and Stuart McDonald draw on the Italian experience to paint a picture of where things might be heading, and what actuaries are doing to help.
This article was written in mid-March. If you are reading this in April, then much more will have been published on the matter since, and no doubt some aspects of the article will be open to challenge. This is the difficulty with writing about an emerging crisis – facts are quickly overtaken by events. However, the broad messages of the article and the demonstration of how actuarial skills can help are nevertheless key timely contributions.
It is important to balance fears about the virus by continuing to feature the various strands of vibrant actuarial work that carry on regardless. As ever, our goal is to provide readers with informed contributions from authors with subject-area expertise. In this issue, Elena Djarlijeva and Lucy Hoppe tell us about health insurance and the benefits of using tracking data from wearables. We hear from Kirsten Mitchell-Wallace about the importance of actuaries and catastrophe modellers working together to improve risk outcomes, while Dimitris Papachristou writes this month’s in-depth modelling article, which is all about hurricanes.
I hope you stay healthy and enjoy the issue.