Catastrophe Research Analyst

  • Hiscox
  • London, UK
  • 22/07/2020
Full time Data Science Data Analytics Big Data Statistics

Job Description

About the team / division

Hiscox underwrites a significant amount of natural catastrophe risk across the globe. Hiscox covers losses arising from perils such as hurricanes, windstorms, floods and earthquakes. Natural catastrophe simulation models are used for pricing and managing risk. The Hiscox View of Risk (HVOR) is derived from a number of adjusted and mathematically blended models. The HVOR underpins our approach to pricing and managing portfolios of risks.

The over-arching goal of the Hiscox catastrophe research team is to improve the HVOR. The catastrophe research team consists of the group head of catastrophe research, several full-time researchers , as well members of the team of catastrophe modelling analysts across the group (10+) who are involved in various research projects throughout the business cycle. The team also has extensive collaborations with analytics teams in re/insurance brokers, catastrophe model vendors, and insurtech companies.

There is a long list of important projects related to improving the HVOR which promises to materially impact the business.

To accelerate progress, one research contract position is now open. The researcher will be supervised by the group head of catastrophe research, alongside other senior members of the team.

On offer is the chance to make a meaningful impact on the business, whilst tackling important and interesting problems. The role will give candidates the opportunity to improve their technical and soft skills while at the same time learning about the business.

The role

The role involves tackling clearly defined research and development projects to improve the HVOR. Projects involving model evaluation, model development, data analysis and machine learning are available. All projects will be related to natural catastrophe risks such as flood, hurricane and/or earthquakes. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact and work with a variety of computing technologies and frameworks. It is expected that this role will involve tackling several projects related to climate change.

What will you be doing in the role?

Day-to-day work is focused on research projects under the guidance of the catastrophe research team. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing the company’s view of risk on various natural perils (including tropical cyclones, earthquakes, inland floods and wildfires)
  • Validating existing natural catastrophe models and developing, as required, tailored solutions specific to Hiscox’s needs, leveraging large datasets using advanced data science techniques
  • Developing new techniques and tools to facilitate the integration and application of the HVOR
  • Communicating, both internally and externally, various insights about perils and updates on the HVOR
  • Keeping abreast of new developments in the academic world and translating findings and technical insight into a business context

Those duties require close interaction with the catastrophe model analysts across the group. Working in a collaborative manner, with frequent communication and discussion of results, are thus core parts of the role.

person specification:

  • Phd in physical sciences (especially Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences and/or Geophysics) from a reputable university
  • Bachelor’s degree with strong numerate background (Physics, Applied Math etc.)
  • Postdoctoral research experience related to climate change
  • Experience with natural catastrophe modelling including Wildfire, Hurricane, European Windstorm, US Flood and Japan typhoon
  • Demonstrable capabilities in analysing large data sets
  • Experience in a variety of programming languages including fortran, python and R
  • Ability to work in a variety of computing environments including Linux systems
  • Several scientific publications in leading science journals, and specifically addressing climate change
  • Experience applying machine learning to tackle geophysical problems related to risk quantification
  • Ability to use google earth engine, mathematical and GIS software
  • Demonstrable and deep understanding of climate change science
  • At least 1 year experience working in a reinsurance / insurance context
  • Good understanding of insurance and re/insurance pricing
  • Experience developing views of risk in a re/insurance context, in particular to quantify the incremental impact of climate change on portfolio losses
  • Experience using output from numerical model simulations of the climate system
  • Experience interacting with clients, investors and stakeholders in the insurance industry about risk modelling concepts
  • Demonstrable experience developing novel research on the mathematical aspects of catastrophe modelling
  • Experience in science communication (and climate science, in particular) to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Effective communication and presentation skills in English (other language(s) a plus)