Dealing with Risk: How Technology is Changing the Global Risk Landscape by Dr. Matthias Weber

Swissnex India

Date 15-04-2015
Location Swissnex India premises, Bengaluru.
Organizers Swissnex India & SwissRe

One of the key future trends as part of my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ (Zero Cost Management Graduate) was climate change and associated risks. It was necessary for future managers to prepare themselves for this upcoming risks. However, when I have received notification of event conducted by SwissRe, I realized it is a good idea to see current insurance corporations perspective on the way of looking future risks. After attending the event, I can say that my perspective has widen enough to understand lot of other risks. I have summarized important elements of this seminar in this blog post.

The talk is part of several lecture series going to be organized at Swissnex in collaboration with SwissRe to create awareness about risk among different stakeholders. The first talk has been presented by Dr. Matthias Weber, Group Chief Underwriting officer, SwissRe.

Swiss Re

Swiss way of looking at the risk

The seminar started with Dr. Balz from SwissnexIndia introduced Dr. Matthias Weber. He then further elaborated about the proposed series at Swissnex with Swiss Re and upcoming events.

Dr. Matthias Weber started his speech by describing himself and his association with the firm. He also shared his personal experiences about the risk even before starting the presentation. He did it on continuous basis of on various occasion during presentations to personalized the risky scenarios. The way he narrated Cyber Risks and his association with it, made everyone alarmed about this unnoticeable risks.

His presentation has been divided into sections covering different aspects.

  • Technology and health
  • In this part, he has highlighted some of the key drivers for future longevity. The increasing speed of development in Genomic sequencing will increase average human life. We may think of being immune to many harmful diseases in future. Dr. Weber also assumed that development of technologies will reduce detection time by just one day by the year 2020. Identifying such trends can help in defining risk strategies. It will require innovative health policies for changing demands of the people. Like, people may want to change their withdrawal mechanism at pension fund, may like to change their policies as they are not at the risk of dangerous disease etc.

  • Nanotech
  • Not just small scale products, contribution of robots will open up new possibilities in future for healthcare deliveries and support. We are still in the early stages of development.

  • Behavior
  • In recent years, technology has provided many tools for enhanced monitoring of our behavior (something we generally see in science-fiction movies). It includes wearable sensors, smart garments, smart lenses as well as smart pill. There is also rise in patient data sharing.

    So what are the implication for insurance? According to Dr. Weber, we can expect following trends in future.
    > Demographic development: health and longevity likely growth area for insurance
    > Reduced mentality, increased longevity
    > Increases in health consciousness could lead to reduced protection gap
    > Requires innovative health insurance products that are affordable)

  • Cyber risk
  • I am glad to attend this lecture to know more about Cyber Risk and potential damage caused by it around the world. Dr. Weber classified cyber attacks into 3 broad areas:
    > Physical damage caused by cyber attacks
    > Loss or corruption of data and its financial consequences
    > Fraud/infringement/any liability of arising from failure

    He has reiterated this statement couple of times during his presentation,’You can only protect yourself to a certain extent’.

    Recent technology trends increase the risk for cyber attacks or IT failures, some of them are:
    – Cloud computing
    – Mobile & flexible working
    – Shadow IT
    – bring your own device
    – Open source

    Although, total protection is not possible but it still brings lot of possibility for insurance. It requires overcoming challenges such as diversifying looses, quantifying the risks etc.

    Picture taken from Facebook page of Swissnex India

  • Big data & smart analytic: How they are changing the insurance industry
  • Cognitive computing will put machine learning in the lead. It will enable a variety of new solutions, giving opportunity for user to make a dialogue with a computer. Results will be more rational, unbiased, data driven and trusted. It is more personalized and effortless and can become biggest game changer in the insurance industry. It will change the way companies engaged with the customers.

    At the end of this presentation, he has briefly talked about industry perspective on Natural disasters, automation in automotive industry as well as rise of start-ups in the insurance sector.

    Dr. Matthias Weber- Profile at Swiss Re
    Swissnex India, Website
    Swiss Re

    Disclaimer Based on observation of the author, not every information presented in this post similar to what has been said, in the event.

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