Southeast Missouri State University student Dalton Cowan is applying his mathematics skills this summer as an actuarial intern with Allstate, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States.
Cowan, a senior majoring in mathematics, actuarial science option with a minor in finance of Buckley, Illinois, is working at Allstate’s corporate headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois.
“I wanted to intern for Allstate because they have a training program for its property and casualty interns that is highly regarded throughout the industry,” Cowan said.
As an actuarial intern, he gets to calculate indications, or the required percentage change in expected premiums for home and auto insurance premiums for a particular state, which allows Allstate to remain adequate in that state.
To acclimate him to the necessary resources to complete these projects, Cowan spent three weeks in training which included sessions on the basics of auto and home insurance, ratemaking statistics, Microsoft Excel, how to calculate indications and trend selections.
“The training prepared me to develop losses to their ultimate loss amount, analyze past losses and premiums, and adjust past premiums to the current rate level,” he said.
His results can have a significant impact for Allstate and its valued customers, making his calculations all the more essential to consider all possible aspects of insurance procedures.
“The severity and frequency of claims change over time due to a variety of factors, such as a changing book of business, technological advances and legislative changes,” Cowan said.
He is working with professional actuaries and 17 actuarial interns on a daily basis, he said. His teammates are a diverse group from across the nation.
“We spend most of our days working together in the same room, and it has been interesting to learn about each person’s unique background,” he said.
Cowan uses a variety of mathematical equations, formulas and methods to complete his indication projects, and credits much of his success at Allstate to the mathematics courses he’s taken at Southeast.
“My time at Southeast has provided me with a strong background in mathematics and meaningful projects that have given me practice and exposure with actuarial tools and methods,” he said.
The results of his indication project could lead to rate changes for Allstate in the state to which he is assigned.
“I present the results of my indications to my manager, the state manager for the state that I am assigned to, and several credentialed actuaries,” Cowan said. “Depending on the results of the indication, the state manager could decide to file a rate change with the Department of Insurance for that state.”
His internship has given him the opportunity to learn about working for a large, national company, the intricacies of home and auto insurance, and how insurance companies determine rates and make decisions on the premiums they charge, he said.
The experiences and knowledge he’ll gain as an Allstate intern are highly regarded throughout the industry. Many interns have been offered full employment and returned to Allstate, an offer he hopes to receive in the future.
“I hope to have a better understanding of what actuaries do in practice for insurance companies,” he said. “This is a chance to learn if Allstate is a good fit for me, and I hope to receive a job offer from Allstate after I graduate.”