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Asia: Underwriting will remain central to operations despite new technology, says Swiss Re

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jul 2017

Property & Casualty

Even as technology changes the way insurers assess risk, underwriters will remain a core component of the business moving forward, said Ms Sharon Ooi, Head of P&C Underwriting for Asia, Australia & New Zealand. She assumes the role as part of a newly-formed Property & Casualty Underwriting Hub for Asia which comes under its reinsurance business unit. 
 
    “With the advent of new regulations, more stringent views of capital as well as technology, the role of an underwriter in the future will have to encompass knowledge around finance, risk as well as smart analytics,” she told Asia Insurance Review
 
   While still retaining her role as CEO of Swiss Re’s Singapore Branch, Ms Ooi said the new underwriting hub will allow Swiss Re to service client needs more efficiently. 
 
   “The combination of the property and casualty (P&C) underwriters into one hub in Asia will empower our underwriters to support our P&C reinsurance business more effectively through portfolio management and analytics. This approach will help us be even more client centric as we continue to align our skills and capabilities with client and market needs.” 
 
   Swiss Re has moved its underwriting approach to suit the digital future through the use of analytics and cognitive computing, she said. 
 
   “We also use technology for a number of our products, such as parametric solutions that employ satellites to monitor weather data and provide quick payouts.” 
 
   For example when super-typhoon Haima struck the Chinese city of Shanwei last year, insurance companies were making a payout after just one week thanks to a Swiss Re-led parametric insurance programme for China, she said. 
Swiss Re currently employs over 1,900 people in offices across Asia-Pacific. A 
 
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