Actuarial and Data Science at Hastings Direct

We are a combined team of Actuaries and Data Scientists who work on a broad range of projects that play a crucial role in the company’s success. By studying historic claims data, analysing customer behaviour and championing the adoption of the latest machine learning (ML) techniques, we leverage powerful insights from customer information. This helps us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of claims, whilst staying competitive for new and existing customers.

In our team, you’ll work in a fast-paced environment on projects that materially change how we price insurance for our customers. Colleagues use analytical minds and a passion for data to create innovative and creative solutions to problems while understanding how their decisions impact our key business outcomes.

We offer colleagues the opportunity to develop both their technical and soft skills through providing projects that will challenge them to use the latest data science and actuarial techniques and then present their approach and results to stakeholders. Colleagues get the chance to work on a range of different projects, from beginning to end, including both the technical and commercial side of the project.

How we work

Being a data-driven company, we have a large amount of data available to us. To make the best use of this, we’ve invested in an entirely cloud-based technology stack. We use Snowflake to store our data, a combination of Python notebooks and DataBricks to build ML models, and Azure DevOps pipelines to deploy our models via a dedicated ML Engineering team.

Collaboration is key to the work we do, with us working closely with other teams in Underwriting, such as Data Engineering, Product Development and Risk Pricing. We use Github as one of our main version control and collaboration tools, with colleagues from different teams all feeding into a project through the platform.

We appreciate the importance of bringing the team together, and how this can improve our collaboration and communication skills, so we offer a hybrid working approach from our Bexhill and London offices.

There are plenty of opportunities for colleagues to develop and grow in their career. As a team we encourage the use of the online learning platforms Coursera and O’Reilly provided at Hastings for self-development. We also offer Data Science graduate schemes that give candidates the opportunity to work in multiple teams to grow their technical ability and wider business skills. For Actuarial Science, we offer colleagues an apprenticeship opportunity so they can work towards a professional qualification while working with us and applying what they have learnt in their studies.

Where our teams are based

Not all of our teams operate from all of our offices. Below you can see the offices in which these teams are based.

Meet some of the team

Daniel, Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist at Hastings Direct, I build predictive models to support teams within the Underwriting Department. I am given a lot of freedom to choose and work on projects that I find particularly appealing and enjoy working collaboratively with my colleagues to tackle a variety of interesting and challenging problems. I like that Hastings encourages continuous development – when exploring new and unfamiliar topics, I can take advantage of the subscriptions that we have to the Coursera and O’Reilly platforms and discuss any new learnings with the wider Actuarial and Data Science team.

Samiksha, Actuarial Analyst

My role involves working with data and building predictive models. It’s interesting to get an opportunity to work on a wide range of projects that involve analysis, trend investigations, GLM modelling, machine learning and model testing. The best part about working at Hastings has been the people and culture. Everyone is very welcoming and inclusive. The culture aims to ensure you are heard and given every possible chance to improve, implement, grow and showcase your skillset.

Lily, Junior Actuarial Analyst

On a daily basis I can be doing anything from investigating data trends, writing and testing code, building machine learning models, developing my technical knowledge in a lunch and learn session, to being a ‘fly on the wall’ in higher level meetings with proposals that might improve our live pricing. The projects that I have been involved with so far have been varied and are always very interesting. I love my role as it provides me with so many opportunities to learn new modelling techniques, new coding languages and use the most up-to-date software.