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Sponsored: Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Global Strategy, Local Execution and Delivery

By appointing a local CEO, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions looks to tap into Canada's commercial insurance market and its tremendous growth potential.
By: | August 29, 2017 • 5 min read

Since the time it was established in 1863, Swiss Re has built a reputation as a prestigious and respected name in the insurance industry. Its rich heritage, financial strength and penchant for innovation speak for themselves. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions provides insurance products through its various insurance companies worldwide.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, founded in 2010, continues to build and round out that legacy of excellence with a dedicated focus on the primary insurance market.

“Swiss Re Corporate Solutions now has more than 50 offices in over 20 countries, serving large corporations with a 5 to 10 percent market share in the segments we operate in,” said Adrian Hall, the recently appointed CEO Canada & Managing Director, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

Corporate Solutions excels in high-end specialty business as an excess lead insurer. It has been able to accomplish such rapid and sustainable growth because of its deep level of expertise in the industries it serves, a focused distribution strategy, commitment to the claims experience, and a client-centric approach.

Now, it is working to move into primary lead positions in the middle market. To do that effectively, it will leverage its global footprint while developing regional and local market focus.

Canada is just one of several regional markets the global insurer has targeted for its growth potential.

Canada: A Regional Focus

Adrian Hall, CEO Canada & Managing Director

Canada is the eighth-largest commercial insurance market in the world — and growing. According to rating agency Moody’s, the Canadian property/casualty industry is experiencing stable demand, strong underwriting discipline, and increasing competition from insurers with strong balance sheets.

The marine, financial & professional services, cyber, general liability and property markets in particular seem likely to remain competitive in 2017.

A dedicated local strategy will be critical to maximize the opportunity these markets offer.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Canada business currently employs about 50 people with a premium of around CAD 184 million. It writes property/casualty lines, energy, financial & professional services, marine, engineering & construction and aviation business.

“We will continue to focus on those areas but look to expand into others as well,” Hall said.

Corporate Solutions demonstrated its commitment to a localized approach by creating a separate enhanced leadership structure to operate the regional businesses and execute a more boots-on-the-ground strategy.

That’s why Corporate Solutions brought in Adrian Hall to head up the Canadian business as CEO on May 1st — a role created to reinforce Corporate Solutions’ commitment to the Canadian market and grow its presence there.

“The new role reflects Corporate Solutions’ localization strategy,” Hall said. “Part of the expansion strategy is to have a local leader responsible for the strategic, managerial and institutional matters, from a position that is closer to our clients and to ultimately proactively service our clients more effectively.”

Hall has filled many roles in the insurance industry over his 24-year, globe-trotting career.

“I’ve held a range of leadership roles over my career in a range of markets internationally from positions in a number of European markets for a couple of years, and then in South America for a few years leading our distribution strategic direction,” Hall said.

“I was then in the Middle East for five years, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then in Dubai, United Arab Emirates heading up the marketing and distribution strategy and external positioning of the company across the region. I then moved back to London for a short period of time, and I’ve been in Canada for the last 13 years where I have fulfilled a range of Commercial and Personal Insurance leadership positions.”

Hall’s global view of the insurance marketplace, combined with his firsthand knowledge and network of contacts within the Canadian market, made him a perfect fit for the new leadership role.

“I’m very much focused on that global strategic thinking while executing local delivery. We have to watch market dynamics and think proactively about where the market and clients are heading so we can ensure future sustainable success for our Clients and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions” Hall said.

Hall’s most recent prior experience as a chief customer officer aligned his strategic thinking with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ client-centric philosophy. That relentless client focus was one of the key differentiators that attracted Hall to the position of Canada CEO.

The Swiss Re Difference

In addition to Hall’s leadership, a few key tenets of Swiss Re Corporate Solution’s business model and mission prime the organization for continued growth.

Not least among these is the company’s dedication to claims handling as an integral element of the proposition delivery for its clients. Corporate Solutions positions its claims team at the core of its organization, meaning it is integrated with every business unit in order to create a seamless experience for clients.

The company’s ‘Claims Commitment’ states its mission to pay covered claims within five business days, and advance payments of up to 50 percent of a loss estimate even sooner in the event of an insured first-party property loss. A member of the claims team will also contact clients within one day after a loss notification, and work with them to tailor a strategy best suited to their needs and preferences, whether that means settling or defending a claim.

“Our claims commitment is a key differentiator for us in the marketplace, and it stems from our client-centric approach,” Hall said. “We know that the way a claim is handled matters just as much as the eventual claim outcome. Creating a fast and smooth experience goes a long way in earning our customers’ trust.”

The insurer’ risk expertise also stands apart from competitors.

“At Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we are focused on core business segments that we have a strong appetite in, and then we go deep. In the areas of property, energy, financial & professional services, aviation and engineering & construction, for example, there is deep, solid local expertise that our clients really benefit from,” Hall said.

A targeted distribution strategy also focuses on working with brokers that are aligned with Swiss Re’s philosophy and strategic thinking, which ultimately helps to build a more seamless insurance experience for clients.

Finally, financial strength and capacity also provide clients the confidence that their exposures are covered and their claims can be paid. Balance sheet strength also provides Swiss Re Corporate Solutions with the flexibility and muscle to pursue growth in promising markets and be selective in the industries and risks they take on.

To learn more, visit https://corporatesolutions.swissre.com/

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This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.






Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity to mid-sized and large multinational corporations and public entities across the globe.

More from Risk & Insurance

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Insurtech

Kiss Your Annual Renewal Goodbye; On-Demand Insurance Challenges the Traditional Policy

Gig workers' unique insurance needs drive delivery of on-demand coverage.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 6 min read

The gig economy is growing. Nearly six million Americans, or 3.8 percent of the U.S. workforce, now have “contingent” work arrangements, with a further 10.6 million in categories such as independent contractors, on-call workers or temporary help agency staff and for-contract firms, often with well-known names such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.

Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO, Trōv

The number of Americans owning a drone is also increasing — one recent survey suggested as much as one in 12 of the population — sparking vigorous debate on how regulation should apply to where and when the devices operate.

Add to this other 21st century societal changes, such as consumers’ appetite for other electronic gadgets and the advent of autonomous vehicles. It’s clear that the cover offered by the annually renewable traditional insurance policy is often not fit for purpose. Helped by the sophistication of insurance technology, the response has been an expanding range of ‘on-demand’ covers.

The term ‘on-demand’ is open to various interpretations. For Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO of pioneering on-demand insurance platform Trōv, it’s about “giving people agency over the items they own and enabling them to turn on insurance cover whenever they want for whatever they want — often for just a single item.”

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“On-demand represents a whole new behavior and attitude towards insurance, which for years has very much been a case of ‘get it and forget it,’ ” said Walchek.

Trōv’s mobile app enables users to insure just a single item, such as a laptop, whenever they wish and to also select the period of cover required. When ready to buy insurance, they then snap a picture of the sales receipt or product code of the item they want covered.

Welcoming Trōv: A New On-Demand Arrival

While Walchek, who set up Trōv in 2012, stressed it’s a technology company and not an insurance company, it has attracted industry giants such as AXA and Munich Re as partners. Trōv began the U.S. roll-out of its on-demand personal property products this summer by launching in Arizona, having already established itself in Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Australia and the UK were great testing grounds, thanks to their single regulatory authorities,” said Walchek. “Trōv is already approved in 45 states, and we expect to complete the process in all by November.

“On-demand products have a particular appeal to millennials who love the idea of having control via their smart devices and have embraced the concept of an unbundling of experiences: 75 percent of our users are in the 18 to 35 age group.” – Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO, Trōv

“On-demand products have a particular appeal to millennials who love the idea of having control via their smart devices and have embraced the concept of an unbundling of experiences: 75 percent of our users are in the 18 to 35 age group,” he added.

“But a mass of tectonic societal shifts is also impacting older generations — on-demand cover fits the new ways in which they work, particularly the ‘untethered’ who aren’t always in the same workplace or using the same device. So we see on-demand going into societal lifestyle changes.”

Wooing Baby Boomers

In addition to its backing for Trōv, across the Atlantic, AXA has partnered with Insurtech start-up By Miles, launching a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy in the UK. The product is promoted as low-cost car insurance for drivers who travel no more than 140 miles per week, or 7,000 miles annually.

“Due to the growing need for these products, companies such as Marmalade — cover for learner drivers — and Cuvva — cover for part-time drivers — have also increased in popularity, and we expect to see more enter the market in the near future,” said AXA UK’s head of telematics, Katy Simpson.

Simpson confirmed that the new products’ initial appeal is to younger motorists, who are more regular users of new technology, while older drivers are warier about sharing too much personal information. However, she expects this to change as on-demand products become more prevalent.

“Looking at mileage-based insurance, such as By Miles specifically, it’s actually older generations who are most likely to save money, as the use of their vehicles tends to decline. Our job is therefore to not only create more customer-centric products but also highlight their benefits to everyone.”

Another Insurtech ready to partner with long-established names is New York-based Slice Labs, which in the UK is working with Legal & General to enter the homeshare insurance market, recently announcing that XL Catlin will use its insurance cloud services platform to create the world’s first on-demand cyber insurance solution.

“For our cyber product, we were looking for a partner on the fintech side, which dovetailed perfectly with what Slice was trying to do,” said John Coletti, head of XL Catlin’s cyber insurance team.

“The premise of selling cyber insurance to small businesses needs a platform such as that provided by Slice — we can get to customers in a discrete, seamless manner, and the partnership offers potential to open up other products.”

Slice Labs’ CEO Tim Attia added: “You can roll up on-demand cover in many different areas, ranging from contract workers to vacation rentals.

“The next leap forward will be provided by the new economy, which will create a range of new risks for on-demand insurance to respond to. McKinsey forecasts that by 2025, ecosystems will account for 30 percent of global premium revenue.

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“When you’re a start-up, you can innovate and question long-held assumptions, but you don’t have the scale that an insurer can provide,” said Attia. “Our platform works well in getting new products out to the market and is scalable.”

Slice Labs is now reviewing the emerging markets, which aren’t hampered by “old, outdated infrastructures,” and plans to test the water via a hackathon in southeast Asia.

Collaboration Vs Competition

Insurtech-insurer collaborations suggest that the industry noted the banking sector’s experience, which names the tech disruptors before deciding partnerships, made greater sense commercially.

“It’s an interesting correlation,” said Slice’s managing director for marketing, Emily Kosick.

“I believe the trend worth calling out is that the window for insurers to innovate is much shorter, thanks to the banking sector’s efforts to offer omni-channel banking, incorporating mobile devices and, more recently, intelligent assistants like Alexa for personal banking.

“Banks have bought into the value of these technology partnerships but had the benefit of consumer expectations changing slowly with them. This compares to insurers who are in an ever-increasing on-demand world where the risk is high for laggards to be left behind.”

As with fintechs in banking, Insurtechs initially focused on the retail segment, with 75 percent of business in personal lines and the remainder in the commercial segment.

“Banks have bought into the value of these technology partnerships but had the benefit of consumer expectations changing slowly with them. This compares to insurers who are in an ever-increasing on-demand world where the risk is high for laggards to be left behind.” — Emily Kosick, managing director, marketing, Slice

Those proportions may be set to change, with innovations such as digital commercial insurance brokerage Embroker’s recent launch of the first digital D&O liability insurance policy, designed for venture capital-backed tech start-ups and reinsured by Munich Re.

Embroker said coverage that formerly took weeks to obtain is now available instantly.

“We focus on three main issues in developing new digital business — what is the customer’s pain point, what is the expense ratio and does it lend itself to algorithmic underwriting?” said CEO Matt Miller. “Workers’ compensation is another obvious class of insurance that can benefit from this approach.”

Jason Griswold, co-founder and chief operating officer of Insurtech REIN, highlighted further opportunities: “I’d add a third category to personal and business lines and that’s business-to-business-to-consumer. It’s there we see the biggest opportunities for partnering with major ecosystems generating large numbers of insureds and also big volumes of data.”

For now, insurers are accommodating Insurtech disruption. Will that change?

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“Insurtechs have focused on products that regulators can understand easily and for which there is clear existing legislation, with consumer protection and insurer solvency the two issues of paramount importance,” noted Shawn Hanson, litigation partner at law firm Akin Gump.

“In time, we could see the disruptors partner with reinsurers rather than primary carriers. Another possibility is the likes of Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Apple, with their massive balance sheets, deciding to link up with a reinsurer,” he said.

“You can imagine one of them finding a good Insurtech and buying it, much as Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods gave it entry into the retail sector.” &

Graham Buck is a UK-based writer and has contributed to Risk & Insurance® since 1998. He can be reached at riskletters.com.