Robust Bayesian analysis of loss reserves data using scale mixtures distributions

Ehud Makov, S.T. Boris Choy, Jennifer S.K. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is vital for insurance companies to have appropriate levels of loss reserving to pay outstanding claims and related settlement costs. With many uncertainties and time lags inherently involved in the claims settlement process, loss reserving therefore must be based on estimates. Existing models and methods cannot cope with irregular and extreme claims and hence do not offer an accurate prediction of loss reserving. This paper extends the conventional normal error distribution in loss reserving modeling to a range of heavy-tailed distributions which are expressed by certain scale mixtures forms. This extension enables robust analysis and, in addition, allows an efficient implementation of Bayesian analysis via Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. Various models for the mean of the sampling distributions, including the log-Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), log-Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and state space models, are considered and the straightforward implementation of scale mixtures distributions is demonstrated using OpenBUGS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalJournal of Applied Statistics
StatePublished - 2015


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