In Remembrance: CAS Contributor Richard A. Derrig, PhD

Richard A. Derrig, PhD passed away peacefully in Providence, RI on February 8, 2018.  Dr. Derrig, also known as Richard to those who knew him, was a prolific and long-time contributor to the CAS as an academic member. Richard earned his B.S. in Mathematics from St. Peters College, and his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Brown University.

For 27 years, Richard served as Senior Vice President of the Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts where he contributed annually to the insurance industry’s auto insurance rate filings, and notably spearheaded the rate of return portions of the rate case. This led to an abundant library of published work on the topic of “rate of return” modeling with Richard as author or co-author.

Contemporaneous with his years at AIB, Richard helped found and served as vice president of research of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts. In these capacities, he led the development of the Detail Claim Database, which to this day is used by law enforcement and insurers in fighting Massachusetts auto insurance fraud.

Upon his retirement from the bureaus, he formed OPAL Consulting LLC to provide research and regulatory support for the P&C industry.

During his distinguished career, he also taught mathematics at Villanova, Brown University, and Wheaton College (MA), and was a Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He was also a visiting professor at Temple University.

Richard was well known in CAS circles.  Beginning in 1987, he gave 59 presentations at CAS meetings and seminars over the years, published eight research articles in the CAS Forum, and 3 other articles in the peer reviewed Proceedings of the CAS and Variance journals. In 1993, he won the inaugural CAS Ratemaking Prize as author of the best paper submitted in response to a call on the subject.

In 2003 and again in 2012, he won the CAS ARIA Prize as the author of papers published by the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA) that provide the most valuable contribution to casualty actuarial science. Notably, he served on the Board of Directors of ARIA at two different times and was given the president’s award for service by ARIA twice.

Richard contributed much to the CAS, serving on various committees as a volunteer from 1995 through 2017. His committee work included the Dynamic Financial Analysis Committee, and the Committee on Theory of Risk, on which he served as chairman from 2010-12.

In addition to his CAS activities, he traveled extensively and lectured on topics ranging from rate of return theory, financial pricing models, fuzzy sets, predictive modeling, insolvency risk, and insurance fraud research. He was a staple at events held by ARIA, the International Association of Insurance Fraud Agencies, and other academic groups. In 2014, he co-edited a book on Predictive Modeling in Actuarial Science, his last published work.

For those who new Richard well, he had a unique sense of humor, and invariably included a cartoon or two near the opening of his presentations.  In that spirit, and in view of the vast amount of presentations and formal papers referenced, one could say that Richard almost singlehandedly provided a path to fulfill continuing education requirements within the CAS.  Those who worked every day with him in the bureaus imagined that they were completing their CE requirements tenfold just by being associated with him.  He was highly respected and dearly loved.  Dr. Derrig, our friend Richard, will indeed be missed.

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About Daniel Johnston

Dan Johnston, ACAS, is the President of the Automobile Insurers Bureau and worked with Richard for many years.

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