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Lecture series Business operations of an insurer

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What are the risks facing an insurer? How to assess those risks and how does the board deals with them? How does behavioural economics and sustainability influence an insurer's strategy? And what are actuarial aspects for an insurer?
Do you want to know how an insurer really works? Learn the ins and outs of the business operations of an insurer and become a better partner in management conversations.

This lecture series is developed by the Dutch Association of Insurers and the Executive Master Insurance & Risk of the University of Amsterdam.

For whom is this series

This program is intended for managers, policymakers, loss adjusters, (future) risk managers, product or communication specialists, marketeers, (internal) auditors, management support staff or for anyone who would like to better understand how an insurer works. And for those who would like to be a better discussion partner for colleagues, senior management or the board.

Note: Some practical experience in the insurance industry is recommended. Not sure whether this program is for you? Please feel free to contact us.

This is how this series will help you

After this lecture series you will…

  • have a better understanding of the financial management of an insurer and can therefore better read and understand financial reports;
  • understand how themes such as behavioural economics and sustainability influence this;
  • be able to understand risks and how they impact an insurer;
  • know and master the most important actuarial methods and terminology. You are therefore able to better read and understand financial reports.

The insights will support you to reach superior understanding of the wider setting of your workplace within the insurance firm. This will better you as a discussion partner for colleagues, senior management or the board.

The lectures are practical in nature, in non-technical language and uses inspiring and relevant practical examples and assignments.

Practical information

    Online lecture sessions 2024-4
Dates:   Wednesday November 6, 13, 20 and 27 and December 4 and 11.
Time:   19.00 - 21.30 PM
Duration and self-study load:   6 lectures of 2,5 hour
Main language:   English
Location:   Online (via Microsoft Teams)



Lectures 1 and 2: Balance sheet and risk management

The first two lectures address the financial risks an insurer is facing, looking at the assessments and decisions balance sheet and risk management. What are the requirements for capital management and what role does Solvency II play? What policy decisions do insurers make? How do external circumstances influence these decisions? And how can these decisions be improved based on theoretical insights?

Learning objectives day 1

  • What are the key components of an insurer’s balance sheet?
  • What are the valuation principles and what is market value?
  • What is risk and how to measure it?
  • What is the importance of capital in absorbing risks?
  • Solvency II: what are the requirements and risk measurement methods?

Learning objectives day 2

  • Risk models for financial and non-financial risks.
  • Influence of interest rates on insurance products.
  • What are internal models within Solvency II?
  • What is the relationship between accounting and Solvency II?
  • What is the relationship between Pillar I and Pillar II (ORSA)?

Lectures 3 and 4: The influence of behavioral economics and sustainability

During these lectures we will take a closer look at behavioural economics and sustainability. And the impact on insurers.

The topic behavioural economics provides an overview of economic theories and empirical findings that are relevant to an individual’s decision made under uncertainty. The focus is on insurance related and financial decisions.
When it comes to sustainability, we address the role of insurers in this field: what can insurers do? What new risks do insurers face as a result of climate change and ESG? We will discuss a number of insurance products and the related problems.

Learning objectives day 3

  • What is behavioural economics?
  • How do individuals make decisions under uncertainty and what is loss aversion?
  • How do behavioural theories affect insurers and consumers?
  • Short-term and long-term: how do consumers decide about savings and retirement?
  • Are financial markets stable and how do financial crises affect investment decisions?

Learning objectives day 4

  • How does sustainability affect insurers’ policies?
  • What new risks do we recognize as a result of climate change?
  • How does the policy of insurers change with the application of ESG policies?
  • What is the relevance for the entire insurance industry?

Lectures 5 and 6: Important insights from the actuarial profession

During the last two lectures, we will address important actuarial aspects for insurers. You will learn more about the different ways in which insurance premiums are determined. We will continue with the concept of risk and how we can determine it quantitatively. What are common quantitative models and what are their advantages and disadvantages? We will discuss and explain a wide range of actuarial terms and methodologies.

Learning objectives day 5

  • What actuarial techniques are in use in non-life insurance?
  • How does the actuary determine insurance premiums?
  • What is a loss triangle and how do we determine non-life technical provisions?

Learning objectives day 6

  • What actuarial techniques are in use in life insurance?
  • How does the actuary determine insurance premiums?
  • What are mortality tables and how are they derived?
  • What are the typical investment principles of an insurer?


Dr. ir. René Doff

René Doff is Chief Risk Officer of UK P&I Club N.V. He has many years of experience as a risk manager in the banking, insurance and pension industries. He was one of the founders of Solvency II in the Netherlands and Europe. René publishes regularly, both academically and practice-oriented. His books are considered standard works in the risk management domain. He is a senior lecturer in risk management at the University of Amsterdam.

Costs and conditions

Costs for members of the Dutch Association of Insurers

For employees working for a member of the Dutch Association of Insurers, the participation costs are:
Online € 1,550 (excl. 0% VAT)

Costs for other interested parties

For other interested parties, the costs are:
Online € 1,800 (excl. 0% VAT)

Please register with your personal work/business email address. This allows us to assess the costs associated with your participation.

  • The General Terms and Conditions of Dienstverlening Verbond BV apply. By registering, you agree to the General Terms and Conditions of Dienstverlening Verbond BV;
  • Your registration is final after a 14 days reflection period;
  • The lecture series will require a minimum of 12 participants. If that number will not be reached, new dates will be scheduled;
  • A maximum of 5 people of each organisation can participate;
  • The Insurance Academy will assess your suitability of this course after registration;
  • These costs will be invoiced by Dienstverlening Verbond BV.

Cancellation and no-show

  • Cancellation of the registration is possible up to 14 days after registration. In case of later cancellation or no-show, the full participation fee is due. It is of course possible to be replaced by a colleague;
  • Cancellations and replacements must be communicated by email to the Insurance Academy;
  • By registering, you declare that you agree to the terms and conditions about cancellation and no-show


After completing the entire lecture series, you will receive an official certificate from the University of Amsterdam. For this, we would like to receive your date of birth upon registration.

Discount offer Executive MSc

If participants in the lecture series register immediately after the end of the lecture series, they will receive a € 150 discount on a module of the Executive MSc in Insurance and Risk or a
€ 300 discount on the entire Master program.

Other information

  • This program has the level of a training
  • There are no requirements for prior education;
  • Study materials will be distributed by email;
  • There are no exemptions for this lecture series
  • This lecture series does not have a final test or exam;
  • The official language for this version is English;
  • Self-study is about 1 hour per 2 lectures.

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