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Credible Loss Ratio Claims Reserves: the Benktander, Neuhaus and Mack Methods Revisited

  • Werner Hürlimann (a1)


The Benktander (1976) and Neuhaus (1992) credibility claims reserving methods are reconsidered in the framework of a credible loss ratio reserving method. As a main contribution we provide a simple and practical optimal credibility weight for combining the chain-ladder or individual loss ratio reserve (grossed up latest claims experience of an origin period) with the Bornhuetter-Ferguson or collective loss ratio reserve (experience based burning cost estimate of the total ultimate claims of an origin period). The obtained simple optimal credibility weights minimize simultaneously the mean squared error and the variance of the claims reserve. We note also that the standard Chain-Ladder, Cape Cod and Bornhuetter-Ferguson methods can be reinterpreted in the credible context and extended to optimal credible standard methods. The new approach is inspired from Mack (2000). Two advantages over the Mack method are worthwhile to be mentioned. First, a pragmatic estimation of the required parameters leads to a straightforward calculation of the optimal credibility weights and mean squared errors of the credible reserves. An advantage of the collective loss ratio claims reserve over the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reserve in Mack (2000) is that different actuaries come always to the same results provided they use the same actuarial premiums.



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Benktander, G. (1976) An approach to credibility in calculating IBNR for casualty excess resinsurance. In: The Actuarial Review, p. 7.
Boulter, A. and Grubbs, D. (2000) Late claims reserves in reinsurance. Swiss Re publications, available at
Mack, Th. (1997) Schadenversicherungsmathematik. Verlag Versicherungswirtschaft, Karlsruhe.
Mack, Th. (2000) Credible claims reserves: the Benktander method. ASTIN Bulletin 30(2), 333347.
Neuhaus, W. (1992) Another pragmatic loss reserving method or Bornhuetter/Ferguson revisited. Scandinavian Actuarial Journal, 151162.


Credible Loss Ratio Claims Reserves: the Benktander, Neuhaus and Mack Methods Revisited

  • Werner Hürlimann (a1)


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