Technology continues to represent the main source of new opportunities for Swiss Re in terms of unlocking new risk pools, streamlining data analysis, improving the value chain, and third-party collaborations, according to Christian Mumenthaler, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swiss Re.
Speaking in an interview with Reinsurance News, Mumenthaler explained how, amongst other applications, Swiss Re is harnessing technology to develop innovative solutions and unlock new risk pools.
“Risk pools are growing in many areas around the world. As a result, there is a huge opportunity to extend insurance coverage to more people,” he said. “For instance, our digital life insurance platform – provided through our iptiQ business – makes it possible for people to buy insurance through new channels.
“We’re already seeing dynamic growth and there’s great potential to reach millions of people. Likewise, we combine our risk expertise with analytics and algorithms to develop innovative solutions for our reinsurance clients.”
Swiss Re has also identified new technologies such as telematics to be major drivers of growth in areas like motor insurance, and has already developed an end-to-end telematics solution to allow clients to analyse big data from connected vehicles and digitalise their processes, Mumenthaler said.
“It’s quite clear that data has become the new gold,” he continued. “Swiss Re has accumulated a lot of data over more than 150 years of existence and we think that strategically this could be a very big differentiator if we can manage it in the right ways.”
Automated underwriting tools like Swiss Re’s Magnum also help the company and its clients to optimise underwriting services by processing roughly 10 million insurance applications in 29 countries per year, of which 80% are accepted immediately.
“Technology is an integral part of our strategy,” Mumenthaler explained. “Solutions like the ones I mentioned are only possible with the latest technology – they allow us to get closer to risks and make our clients more successful while supporting Swiss Re’s growth.”
The CEO also pointed to examples where Swiss Re has leveraged technology to improve its value chain by lowering costs or reducing risk for ourselves.
“It’s only by working closely with clients that we can identify their precise needs and offer them the most suitable solutions,” Mumenthaler told Reinsurance News. “At the same time, it’s important that we deliver our products in an efficient way. We need to get both of these elements right to ensure we generate returns in line with our targets.”
Finally, in light of Swiss Re’s unsuccessful talks with SoftBank earlier this year, Mumenthaler claimed that technology may even inform any future opportunities with potential anchor investors.
“We are constantly in discussions with potential investors and partners, including large and long-term oriented investors who can bring us the benefit of strategic partnerships,” he said. “In this context, we will also further explore business ideas between Swiss Re’s operative entities and the portfolio companies of SoftBank.
“Overall, as I mentioned, technology will remain at the heart of everything we do – both in terms of in-house developments and third-party collaborations.”