GWPrime


Driving Digital Insurance Solutions through Risk Assessment

With innovative digital channels, the Swiss Re Group is transforming insurance affordability, awareness and access.

BY GW Prime

  • The Swiss Re Group uses location data on Climate Change and natural catastrophe impact and combines it with real-time background maps and satellite imagery for accurate risk assessment.
  • The Group is equipped with a future-proof platform to transform data into digital solutions across the insurance value chain.
  • The company offers a range of proprietary geo risk tools called CatNet®, specifically designed to provide insurers with overviews and assessments of natural hazard exposures worldwide.
  • Based on historical weather and satellite data going back five decades, The Group has developed an agriculture analytics platform, through which underwriters can calculate a risk score for selected climatic hazards.
  • For its motor insurance business, the company has developed its first telematics solution called Coloride, which assigns a risk score to each driver based on his/her driving behavior.

The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading reinsurance companies. Headquartered in Zurich, the Group provides insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, anticipating and managing threat from natural disasters, Climate Change, ageing populations to cybercrime. Founded in 1863, the company operates through a network of around 80 offices globally, with 14,500 employees. It has been listed in the Fortune 500 companies for the last 25 years.

Foreseeing Threats

In its capacity as a risk knowledge company, the Group has always been at the forefront of digital innovation. Location data on Climate Change and natural catastrophe impact is combined with real-time background maps and satellite imagery for accurate risk assessment. Today, Swiss Re is equipped with a future-proof platform that it keeps developing to transform data into digital solutions across the insurance value chain.

Natural hazard exposure risk insights

Swiss Re offers a range of proprietary geo risk tools, called CatNet®, specifically designed to provide insurers with overviews and assessments of natural hazard exposures worldwide, including flood, earthquake, tsunami, and wind and storm surge.

Image credit: Swiss Re

By combining hazard, loss, exposure and clients’ insurance information with selected background maps and satellite imagery, CatNet® allows insurers to assess the risk, from individual locations to entire portfolios.

The natural catastrophes data can be integrated into insurer’s underwriting platform, allowing automated and predictive underwriting. It can also be used in pricing calculations to standardize pricing in non-modelled regions.

Smart data exchange and automation

Earlier, the Group built an Internet portal called PULSE, which allows risk and insurance managers – as well as brokers – to monitor and manage their insurance programs on one comprehensive platform, which gives access to real-time information on policy, premium payments, loss notifications, claims, and more.

PULSE was further enhanced through partnership with an insurtech startup, EigenRisk, allowing customers to use the platform for exposure management, risk analytics and real-time event response. Customers with international programs can upload their location and their exposures around the world in bulk onto the portal. In case of a big storm or a hurricane, EigenPrism APIs will then deliver real-time natural catastrophe event alerts to them.

Strengthening crop insurance with geospatial

Based on historical weather and satellite data going back five decades, Swiss Re developed an Agro analytics platform, where underwriters can calculate a risk score for selected climatic hazards. Underwriters are able to steer their agro portfolio based on identified risk zones for different perils and the frequency and severity of abnormal climate events.

Swiss Re also works with startup GreenTriangle to support the use of next-generation technologies in crops and perils loss adjustment process. Satellite data, real-time hazard maps and Machine Learning-based area clustering maps from GreenTriangle help guide loss adjusters to representative parts of the fields with NDVI anomaly, soil moisture anomaly and field level analysis.

In response to the rising frequency and severity of droughts globally, Swiss Re has developed a Drought Index Solution, a satellite-based soil moisture index, to help farmers get immediate payouts in case their crop production is affected. The daily readings of global soil moisture data at a resolution of 100m x 100m is provided by the Dutch satellite-observed soil moisture data provider, VanderSat. Farmers and insurers can get daily and real-time updates on the soil moisture and insurance payout situation via Swiss Re’s web-based solutions, including the Opti-Crop index tracker.

Example of soil moisture index in Latvia on Swiss Re opti-crop index tracker (Image credit: Swiss Re)

Usage-based insurance with telematics solution

For its motor insurance business, Swiss Re has developed its first telematics solution called Coloride, which assigns a risk score to each driver based on his/her driving behavior. The phone app identifies risky manoeuvres, speeding habits and phone usage while driving, and offers post-drive coaching when the trip is over. Insurers use the risk score to calculate the usage-based insurance (UBI) premium. On top of GPS positioning and acceleration data, the IoT platform also provides weather, traffic, road, and ambiance conditions data.

In November 2019, Swiss Re announced its partnership with Pioneer, to include claims-related services in Coloride telematics suite, including crash detection. Coloride now provides real-time driver warnings based on Pioneer’s map data and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) algorithms.

The new solution can be extended with a range of devices that collect acceleration data to accurately identify and reconstruct a crash. Some of the devices also have a manual emergency button, so that the driver can call for support after an accident.

Advancing insurance innovation

With innovative digital channels, Swiss Re is transforming insurance affordability, awareness and access. To strengthen its proprietary risk knowledge and to advance its capabilities, the Group is running 80 research and development programs with 450 dedicated researchers and investing about $300 million a year in key technology projects.

It has recently announced the launch of its Digital Market Center in strategic partnership with Microsoft. The Center will draw on Microsoft’s next-generation Azure Cloud technologies, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence capabilities to develop next-generation, large-scale tools to transform how risks are predicted, managed and insured. The first areas of application are planned to be connected vehicles and mobility, industrial manufacturing (Industry 4.0), and natural catastrophe resilience.

Coloride interface (Image credit: Swiss Re)