International programmes not only allow risk managers to mitigate threats more effectively, but they also reduce gaps in coverage and make claims processing more efficient, writes Bruno Mostermans, Head France, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
More businesses than ever are expanding internationally into new or emerging markets. As a result, they are facing new threats and existing risks are becoming more complex. Growing organisations need to consider regulations and compliance as they enter new jurisdictions, not to mention the difficulties that arise when operating across borders.
For large businesses, it is no longer enough to look at risks in isolation. Threats can impact multiple business lines, in countries across the world. Many organisations have tried to mitigate these risks by using several native solutions - often with different insurers. But risk and insurance managers are increasingly finding that this leads to inefficiencies and even worse - gaps in cover.
Consequently, risk managers and brokers have been looking for global solutions that offer master insurance policies, backed up by international risk prevention services and a smooth claims management process.
It’s easy to see why. If you take a large construction project like a dam as an example, any loss is likely to cause business interruption and lead to losses at the site itself, but there may also be losses from third parties.
You want to protect against the obvious impacts such as a loss of rain leading to a profit hit, but you also need to be protected from construction issues, property damage and even political risks. The number of risks that could impact clients are enormous and it is helpful to be able to insure everything in one place, with one straightforward claims procedure.
Another benefit is security. With a global programme, risk managers can be sure that all policies in all markets are being implemented in the right way - something that has become more important as regulatory scrutiny on compliance increases.
Achieving this type of solution requires a technology leap. Building an effective international insurance programme is complex. A global organisation could have operations in over 100 territories around the world, all with different tax and regulatory regimes.
For a risk manager, ensuring that you have accurate and up-to-date data on all locations, ranging from multiple risk exposures is one of the most significant challenges.
To help solve the problem, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions created an International Programme Administration system. We strongly believe that innovative use of technology can fundamentally address the issue of high friction in information flow and improve service quality experience for the customer and broker. The tech allows Programme Underwriting process from submission to post-bind activities, knowledge management and Information exchange with local offices and Network Partners and enables
This kind of technology is highly anticipated from the insurance world, and now we are working with BrokersLink on a version that can be used by their network. Our Broker platform provides our partners with a comprehensive solution for International Program Administration, allows central data management for customer reporting and analytics and strong focus on collaboration enablement and operational efficiency
Alongside this, we created an internet portal called PULSE, which allows risk and insurance managers – as well as their brokers - to view all their information in one place. Risk managers can see everything from what site visits are planned to how far along a claim is. It also means that in the event of a loss, photographs can be uploaded and claims handlers and surveyors can be appointed digitally. This means better efficiency and faster claims handling.
As a result of the new tech, we have been providing international services to clients using our own network since the beginning of 2019. Our portfolio in Europe consists of over 120 customers mainly on the upper mid-market segment. We can lead international programmes out of six European countries (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands), the US, Canada, Australia, China, Japan and Singapore.
Of course, technology alone is not enough, and the insurance world is also innovating to make sure that the solutions on offer are fit for the 21st Century. This includes an increased focus on loss prevention. One service we’ve recently launched called FLOAT, is the ability to send drones to model risk and create stronger assessments for risk managers.
While most of our international programmes so far have been focused on property and casualty, the next step is D&O. Developing global D&O policy capabilities is critical, risk managers are demanding it because new rules and regulatory focus mean businesses must make sure they are compliant across all markets. The new programme will be launched in the first half of 2020.
Bruno Mostermans, Head France, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
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