Microsoft Links with Reinsurer to Create Innovation Centre

Reinsurer Swiss Re has linked up with tech giant Microsoft in a bid to drive innovation and respond to the future rise of technology across the economy.

The underwriter said the centrepiece of the new alliance is the launch of Swiss Re’s Digital Market Centre, which it said “will help develop next-generation, large-scale tools to transform the way the insurance industry predicts and manages risks, as well as how the industry creates tangible products based on Swiss Re’s risk knowledge”.

The Centre will draw on Microsoft’s next-generation Azure cloud technologies, internet of things and artificial intelligence capabilities.

“The first areas of application are planned to be connected vehicles and mobility, industrial manufacturing (Industry 4.0), and natural catastrophe resilience,” said Swiss Re. “The Digital Market Centre will also develop innovative cyber platforms to measure business risks in a digital environment, enabling a new class of risk technology solutions.”

Anette Bronder, Swiss Re Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “Digital transformation can only be achieved through strong partnerships. The strategic alliance with Microsoft will greatly advance our ability to make our risk expertise available to our clients. At the same time, we can achieve significant efficiency gains for our own internal platforms and processes. This is an important step for Swiss Re’s evolution as a leading data-enabled risk knowledge company.“

Swiss Re said the centre will offer insurers a broader understanding of risks and their ripple effects on society, governments and economies. “For example, powered by Microsoft’s automotive data capabilities, Swiss Re will be able to develop a much deeper analysis of automotive risks such as a car’s safety performance when using the latest driving assistance technologies. By providing data-driven insights from this type of data, Swiss Re can enable insurers to design innovative new motor insurance products, such as pay-as-you-drive covers,” it added.

Swiss Re added its efforts will go beyond new product creation and provide broader risk insights for complex, interconnected systems. It cited works around how risk managers can get a greater understanding of how the loss of a ship’s cargo may impact global supply chains, or how natural catastrophes will impact a government’s key infrastructure investments. Based on these type of data insights, insurers can develop solutions that proactively mitigate losses before they occur.

As part of the strategic alliance, Swiss Re said it will transform its internal operating platform by modernising and moving it to the Azure cloud. This move will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the core processes by leveraging the most advanced data processing and AI capabilities at scale.

Thierry Léger, CEO Swiss Re Life Capital, said: “Swiss Re’s alliance with Microsoft will help accelerate the digital transformation of the insurance industry, with benefits across all lines of business. By building digital markets and not just isolated products, we aim to transform the way businesses approach the risks they face. The alliance between Swiss Re and Microsoft presents an exciting opportunity for the insurance industry.”