Extending Composite Loss Models Using a General Framework of Advanced Computational Tools
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Composite models have a long history in actuarial science because they provide a flexible method of curve-fitting for heavy-tailed insurance losses. The ongoing research in this area continuously suggests methodological improvements for existing composite models and considers new composite models. A number of different composite models have been previously proposed in the literature to fit the popular data set related to Danish fire losses. This paper provides the most comprehensive analysis of composite loss models on the Danish fire losses data set to date by evaluating 256 composite models derived from 16 parametric distributions that are commonly used in actuarial science. If not suitably addressed, inevitable computational challenges are encountered when estimating these composite models that may lead to suboptimal solutions. General implementation strategies are developed for parameter estimation in order to arrive at an automatic way to reach a viable solution, regardless of the specific head and/or tail distributions specified. The results lead to an identification of new well-fitting composite models and provide valuable insights into the selection of certain composite models for which the tail-evaluation measures can be useful in making risk management decisions.