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28 Aug 17 07:11

The year, so far, has been remarkable – to say the least.

Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president in January, Brexit was triggered in March, followed by a snap election in June. The Turkish constitutional referendum came and went, the world's concerns about North Korea's nuclear programme deepened, while the Syrian civil war endures…

We've also seen signs of economic recovery in Europe, but it's clear we continue to live in times that are challenging, particularly as they relate to our industry. Increasing protectionism, and difficult market conditions aren't helping our industry advance. I guess nobody heading to the Monte Carlo's Rendezvous de Septembre last year imagined such turbulence.

Changing risk landscape

The changing risk landscape is putting the spotlight firmly on innovation. We have seen new technological trends emerging for a while now. Insurers are rethinking their business model while competitors are catching up. Meanwhile, consumers continue to adapt to new scenarios and opportunities.

Advances in technology are impacting all points along the insurance value chain (see blog from last year), re-shaping the competitive landscape. I see an increasing demand for ready-to-use solutions that help the industry transition into the future.

Providing these to our clients is one of the strategic priorities within our Reinsurance business. That is why at this upcoming Rendezvous I want to prioritise discussing with our clients how and where we can partner with them to address their needs and help them move to the next level.

Next level solutions

Our priority will be helping our clients to master disruptive technological change in their favour. Even though our industry has not been a fast adopter of new technologies and trends in the past, it now has only one choice: sink or swim.

Swiss Re is very aware of the leading role it can play in shaping up the future. An example of how we provide solutions that help growth across the value chain is Magnum, Swiss Re's Life & Health automated underwriting tool. Magnum enables our clients to automate their assessment and decision process in their life and health underwriting, speeding up the process and freeing up resources. The Magnum suite is designed to support end-to-end automation, provide meaningful data insights, and empower clients to own their customer journey. A tour at our Monte Carlo Pavilion, we will showcase another innovative solution we are working on, a platform that works with any parametric trigger, currently, for example, flight delays, to automate insurance pay-outs. A second tool on display will be an application to manage "smart homes" (i.e. "talking" to your thermostat with your smart phone). As new trends and technologies emerge, consumers and smart home providers are quickly adopting new ecosystems that will challenge and impact the  insurance industry. I encourage you to come by and have a look!

Another exciting development, for which we are partnering with the industry, is Blockchain. We are one of five companies that worked together to launch B3i, the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, in October last year. The consortium has since added 10 new members and has laid out a plan for a real-world Blockchain application.

B3i representatives from various companies will come together in Monte Carlo to present the progress made so far and unveil the next steps in the quest to make Blockchain become an industry standard.

Protection gap: #1 priority

With all this buzz around disruption, let's not forget that our work on closing global protection gaps continues. Making society more resilient is our number one priority.

There have been some fantastic developments in the past few months, notably the work we have done in Kenya on the Kenyan Livestock Insurance Programme, or the coral reef that Swiss Re underwrites in Mexico (the first time a re/insurer has covered a natural structure). Taiwanese fisheries are now covered by parametric insurance against extreme rainfall, and we collaborated on the first-ever bonds to combat pandemic outbreaks.

So, despite the geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges, it's an exciting time for the industry and for us, at Swiss Re, to partner up with clients and design solutions that will impact our society. I look forward to seeing you at the Swiss Re Pavilion to continue this discussion.

Category: Other

Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco-Ville, Monaco


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