WTW targets emerging risks with ground-breaking AI deal

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has entered into a partnership with data analytics specialist Polecat Intelligence in a concerted bid to focus on a wide array of emerging risks.

WTW said that Polecat data will be used to support it in an array of key product areas such as life sciences, reputational and product recall risk, as well as D&O.

The intention, according to the broker, is to develop insurance solutions that will enable organisations to respond to the rapidly changing, increasingly complex and interconnected challenges they now face.

Through this partnership, WTW will utilise Polecat’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to provide real-time risk insight from the world of unstructured data. As such, WTW claimed, the partnership will support its clients in developing risk mitigation strategies and transfer mechanisms enabling them to navigate an increasingly complex world.

The tie-up with Polecat is a clear indication of the growing importance of AI and machine learning to the world of emerging risks. In a recent report, for example, Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality (AGCS) posited that, in addition to bringing a number of benefits, AI, like any disruptive technology, will also introduce new risks to society:

According to AGCS, “from chatbots to autonomous cars, more widespread implementation of AI applications is transforming industry and society, bringing benefits such as increased efficiencies, new products and less repetitive tasks”.

Crucially, it added, AI technologies are projected to boost corporate profitability in 16 industries across 12 economies by an average of 38% by 2035.

“Information and the way that people access it to develop their perception of an organisation or situation has changed radically, for both the private and public sector,” said Garret Gaughan, head of Global Markets P&C Hub, WTW.

“Organisations find themselves in a volatile and dangerous reputational environment,” he added. “The partnership with Polecat enables WTW to offer clients real-time insight to public opinion through analysis of social media. By working with a partner able to analyse unstructured data in real time we are able to design and implement risk mitigation mechanisms for our clients.”

James Lawn, co-CEO of Polecat, added: “Polecat exists to provide foresight for corporate boards and executive leadership teams to make better decisions on emerging risks and opportunities. Our partnership with WTW is ground-breaking bringing world-class risk transfer together with market-leading AI and machine learning to provide real-time risk insights from the world of unstructured data.”

Lawn added that corporate boards and executive leadership teams are looking for insurance and technology that enables them to manage and mitigate their emerging risks that impact their business landscape, the global economy and the world around us.

Commenting on the tie-up, John Ludlow, (pic below) CEO, Airmic, added: “The partnership between Willis Towers Watson and Polecat, signals a new generation of innovative risk management solutions combining AI-powered data analytics, consultancy and insurance in one place.

“For organisations of all types, there is an increasing recognition by executives and boards of reputation as one of the greatest strategic risks, and solutions like this will be critical to protecting and maintaining intangible asset value.”