The Weekly Wrap: New software, tech and insurer results

The Weekly Wrap: New software, tech and insurer results | Insurance Business America

The Weekly Wrap: New software, tech and insurer results
Insurance Business is ending the week with a new regular feature: a weekly wrap-up of some of the stories that slipped under the radar.

Life insurers get new modeling software from Towers Watson
Global professional services company Towers Watson launched RiskAgility FM this week. A new financial modeling software product for life insurers, RiskAgility FM is meant to help global insurers create financial models that more accurately represent their products and strategies.

The multi-purpose software also aids insurers in product development, liability modeling, asset/liability management, business planning and forecasting. Regional applications and templates are also available.
“RiskAgility FM is a powerful new system designed for performance and ease of use,” said Joel Fox, global financial modeling and reporting product group leader (Life), Towers Watson. “Modeling functions have been designed so end users can adapt the system to their way of doing things, rather than forcing companies to conform to rigid software requirements. And the open, flexible modeling environment gives users confidence that their models will be accurate as operating environments evolve.”

The software will be available in Desktop, Team and Enterprise editions.

Net income up, property combined down at Swiss Re
Swiss Re Ltd. released its financial results for 2013 last week, recording a 2.4-point improvement in the property combined ratio from 2012, a 15 per cent increase in total premiums and a 51 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net income.

In property and casualty, Swiss Re recorded premiums earned of $14.5 billion in 2013, up 18 per cent from $12.3 billion in 2012.

The 18 per cent increase was “mainly driven by the expiry of the quota share retrocession agreement and new business written in the Americas,” Swiss Re stated.

Claims and adjustment expenses in P&C were up 25 per cent, from $6.3 billion in 2012 to $7.88 billion last year.

The claims ratio increased three points year over year, from 51.2 per cent in 2012 to 54.2 per cent in 2013.

Swiss Re’s underwriting result in P&C was $2.424 billion in 2013, up 2 per cent from $2.38 billion in 2012. Its combined ratio increased 2.6 points, from 80.7 per cent in 2012 to 83.3 per cent in 2013.

For the fourth quarter, the combined ratio was 88.6 per cent in 2013, down from 90.5 per cent in the same period in 2012.

Mobile technology big focus for connected cars
The president of GM North America says high-speed wireless technology will be a big focus for the carmaker this year, as it moves to integrate 4G LTE technology across its 2015 vehicle range.

The vehicle line, which will be on sale by July and August, will have all the capabilities of customers' smartphones, said GM North America president Alan Batey.

“We're really, really excited about this and we think that this is going to be a huge product innovation across our brands here in Canada,” said Batey. “We think it's a really big step. We really wanted to be a leader here. We do believe we have a window where we can really own this space on a broad based basis.”

The first GM cars, trucks and crossovers to get 4G LTE will be most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models available in 2014 in the United States and Canada.

The company is also looking at including in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots, so that multiple devices can be connected at once.

NAIC greets international guests
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) played host to six insurance regulators from around the world this week at the Spring International Fellows Program. Regulators from the Czech Republic, India, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan visited commissioners in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada.

In this foreign exchange program, regulators participated in a week-long orientation after which they traveled to their host jurisdictions and learned broad principles of US insurance regulation. They were also given the opportunity to work in technical areas of their specialization with a metor and host.

The event marks the 10th anniversary of the program. Thus far, 204 fellows from 28 countries have participated, and 37 US jurisdictions have hosted foreign regulators.

San Jose broker wins industry award
Cameron Suhr of Suhr Risk Services in San Jose was announced as the recipient of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California's 2013 Harlan Miller Award.

The award, which recognizes young leaders among agents and brokers in political grassroots programs, is presented each year along with a chance to participate in the IIABA Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

While in the nation's capital, Suhr plans to meet with members of Congress to discuss insurance issues.

"I am delighted to have such a talented and energetic leader, stewarding our industry, and driving our company as we continue to grow and bring valued Risk Management services to our clients," said Suhr Risk Services COO Ken Atkinson.