An Overview of Decentralized Insurance

An Overview of Decentralized Insurance

Fall 2022 Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics Seminar

Date and Time: Friday, September 16, 2022, 2:00 PM (CST)

Speaker: Runhuan Feng (University of Illinois)

Abstract: Decentralized insurance is a broad term to describe risk sharing mechanisms under which participants carry risks for each other in a decentralized fashion as opposed to the centralized risk management in traditional insurance. There are a wide range of decentralized practices in all kinds of forms developed around the world, such as online mutual aid in East Asia, takaful in the Middle East, peer-to-peer insurance in the West, international catastrophe risk pooling by African, Caribbean and Central America countries, etc. There is also a rich literature of risk sharing in academia that offers theoretical bases of other decentralized mechanisms. In this talk, we shall provide an overview of the latest development in practice and in academia on this topic.

Speaker’s Biography: Runhuan Feng is a Professor of MathematicsStatisticsIndustrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. He is the Faculty Lead for Finance and Insurance Sector at the University of Illinois System’s Discovery Partner Institute in Chicago. Runhuan is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst.

He has a wide spectrum of research interests in mathematics and economics of risk and uncertainty in the financial world. He has published extensively on top-tier actuarial and quantitative finance journals. He is an Associate Editor of North American Actuarial JournalMethodology and Computing in Applied ProbabilityAnnals of Actuarial Science, and Quantitative Finance and Economics.

As an applied scientist, Runhuan strongly believes that most interesting research problems are discovered in response to the changing needs of the industry and the society. He co-founded the Illinois Risk Lab, which facilitates research activities that integrate experiential learning for Illinois students and address industrial problems. Runhuan serves as an independent consultant to many corporations and startups, and provides expert testimonies to law firms for public policy assessment and actuarial analysis. His consulting work has been used by Illinois General Assembly for pension-related legislative proposals. Runhuan’s research has been recognized in the practitioners’ community through his applied technical contributions and presentations as invited speakers at industry conferences. Runhuan is also a strong advocate for industry-academic partnerships. He currently serves on the SOA’s Research Executive Committee and was previously the Chair of the SOA Education and Research Section Council.

His recent interests are on business designs in decentralized finance and insurance and how distributed systems can be best utilized to serve the public at large and to address global risks and challenges.