Swiss Re examines tech approach as challenges grow

From machine learning to blockchain, insurers need to rethink their business models

Swiss Re examines tech approach as challenges grow

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Swiss Re has announced several new product developments amid growing demand for innovative reinsurance solutions.

“Insurers are rethinking their business models to tap into new opportunities and better service the end-consumer,” said Swiss Re Group CEO Christian Mumenthaler. “The reinsurance industry can help them with ready-to-use services and solutions that address growth and profitability. At the same time, innovative solutions help the industry make progress towards closing the ever-growing global protection gap.”

“As we have seen again in the aftermath of recent floods in the US following Hurricane Harvey, as well as devastating flooding in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, the protection gap is very real and needs to be tackled with solutions that make insurance both more widely and more easily available,” Mumenthaler added.

According to estimates by Swiss Re Institute, protection gaps attributable to natural catastrophes and weather events amounted to US$180 billion worldwide in 2016 alone. The institute suggests that a number of issues contribute to this situation in both mature and emerging markets, including
a lack of awareness or trust, restricted access to appropriate cover, and concerns over affordability of policies.

Swiss Re believes that “in-depth risk research paired with new technology can help the industry develop more efficient and impactful solutions to tackle these issues and close global protection gaps, while at the same time open new market opportunities for insurers.”

Putting its beliefs into practice, the reinsurer is harnessing new technologies to create solutions for its clients. The company has already developed a machine learning-based pricing platform to accurately price risks and enable automated claims payments and even offers its clients tools that allow them to understand accumulation risk.

Swiss Re also mentioned its life & health automated underwriting tool, which has helped process “millions of individual life and health applications.”

In addition, the company participated in the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) with the development of a blockchain-driven distributed ledger for reinsurance transactions.

The reinsurer also said in its release that it expects insurance prices to stabilize due to recent loss events.

“The challenging industry environment, marked by low interest rates and excess capital, continues to put pressure on both primary insurers and reinsurers. Swiss Re intends to maintain its underwriting discipline to preserve long-term sustainability, which will continue to make Swiss Re a reliable partner for its clients,” it said.

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Global reinsurers facing rougher seas ahead

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