Reinsurance News

Opportunity for Swiss Re to provide additional solutions in commercial & specialty: Higginbotham

11th September 2023 - Author: Luke Gallin

While rising losses from natural catastrophe events remains a significant challenge for the industry, Russell Higginbotham, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swiss Re Reinsurance Solutions, sees interesting opportunities in both commercial and specialty insurance.

russell-higginbotham-swiss-reHigginbotham spoke with Reinsurance News around the annual meeting of the reinsurance industry in Monte Carlo, to discuss both challenges and opportunities for the global reinsurer when assisting clients.

“From a high-level industry perspective, dealing with significantly increasing losses from natural catastrophe events is a major challenge,” said Higginbotham.

He cited Swiss Re Institute data which pegged insured losses from natural catastrophes at an estimated $50 billion in the first half of 2023, which reaffirmed a 5% to 7% annual growth trend in insured losses.

“Despite known risk factors, these high losses revealed a mismatch between risk assessment and actual exposures. Insurers today are confronted with the dual challenge of maintaining top-line growth while navigating the complexities of extreme weather events,” said Higginbotham.

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The CEO went on to explain that building on Swiss Re’s long-standing natural catastrophe expertise and its proprietary data and models, the Reinsurance Solutions division offers a broad range of tools helping property and commercial insurance carriers to thrive amid an ever-changing risk landscape.

“Worth highlighting here is our CatNet® solution, an online location intelligence tool to visualise clients’ portfolio exposure worldwide and unlock new risk pools with selected background maps and satellite imagery,” he said.

Adding: “Another interesting example here is the Rapid Damage Assessment platform. It helps catastrophe claims managers and loss adjustors make faster and smarter claims decisions during natural catastrophe events, as proven during Hurricane Ian in Florida last year.”

As well as challenges, Higginbotham also told Reinsurance News about areas of the market where he sees opportunities for the reinsurer to provide additional solutions to clients.

“We see interesting opportunities in the commercial insurance space where we offer a solution which enables insurers to upload client data to our platform and easily access them via APIs (application programming interfaces). This provides them with very granular company data and risk information to better understand the mix of their business and the performance of various sectors as well as sub-sectors so they can adjust their portfolio according to different growth scenarios,” he explained.

Additionally, the company sees promising growth potential in the specialty insurance sector.

“For instance – driven by increasing climate volatility and its impact on the risk exposure of infrastructure projects, there is new demand for insurance solutions tailored to the specific needs of engineering projects.

“Our Engineering Digital platform offers an ecosystem that allows efficient and effective evaluation as well as management of a wide range of engineering projects, from construction and solar energy to services based on the internet of things,” said Higginbotham.

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