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Swiss Re pushes use of data for risk management

Data-rich reinsurers are working with insurers and insurtech companies to transform actuarial work.

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Yannick Even, recently appointed director of insurtech solutions, Asia, at Swiss Reinsurance in Hong Kong, says his goal is to help primary insurance companies adopt digitalization to improve risk management, including the areas of underwriting and claims.

“It’s the right time for reinsurers to start using data to build models for risk, with primary insurers now more experienced with digital technology,” Even said. He joined in December from KPMG.

Over the past three or four years, insurance companies have adopted digital technology, either developed in-house or by third-party insurtech companies. The initial focus was automating processes to cut costs, which then moved to mobile-first projects to improve customer experience.

“They are now taking steps to use digital technology to better manage and assess risk,” Even said, adding these are areas in which reinsurers already operate.

But as insurers use digitalized front ends to expand distribution and enable customer self-service, they’ll need tools to manage the risks that go with this new kind of engagement.

A large reinsurer can do this because it has data from all the major primary insurance companies, giving it a more comprehensive insight across the industry, which it uses to underwrite and manage the claims of its clients.

Even joined the firm in December with a brief to help its customers, the primary insurance companies, identify insurtechs that can help them, starting in life and health.

Already Swiss Re is working with a primary insurer in India, Max Bupa Health Insurance, partnering it with Goqii, an insurtech company from Swiss Re’s accelerator program to harness policyholder data from wearables, connected medical devices, and smartphones. The idea is to reward people pursuing a fitter lifestyle with discounted premiums on life or health plans.

He says he wants to work with insurtechs that are focused on the risk pools that Swiss Re wants to innovate; that they have a proven outcome in managing risk with their technology or data; and that there’s a way Swiss Re can monetize the relationship.

Insurtechs can expect to spend up to year working with Swiss Re to test their products or services, and develop prototypes. After that, they would work with a primary insurer to deploy, with Swiss Re helping with pricing, and with networking with regulators where necessary to get the necessary approvals.

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Swiss Re pushes use of data for risk management