While our 2017 performance was clearly impacted by significant natural catastrophes, our role for our clients and in society has rarely been more evident.
“Differentiation remains at the heart of our strategy.”
Strategy and priorities
The world experienced a number of severe natural catastrophes during 2017 that impacted our Property & Casualty segment, but they also helped us show the value that Swiss Re brings to our clients. It is at times such as these that our clients see the tangible benefits of having reinsurance coverage with Swiss Re.
Our Reinsurance Business Unit strategy remains focused on differentiation and profitable growth through allocation of capital to both existing and new risk pools. We believe that macro factors such as demographic changes and the expected rise in global GDP will continue to expand these risk pools in both Property & Casualty and Life & Health Reinsurance. The significant global protection gap, which exists today in both lines of business, is expected to continue to widen and will also contribute significantly to creating new risk pools in the future. As a result, we expect to see further business opportunities, particularly in high-growth markets, but also in countries with mature economies. The numerous natural catastrophes experienced in 2017 also highlight the gap that exists between insured losses and the much higher level of economic loss. Closing this protection gap will deliver a clear benefit to our clients and will help make the world more resilient.
Differentiation and client relationships
We differentiate ourselves by understanding the specific needs of our clients. Client segmentation is a foundational element of our differentiation approach and is built on a deep understanding of our clients, facilitating delivery of tailored offerings.
We interact with clients across all levels and functions, enabling strategic discussions between the right people at the right time. This dedicated delivery model — serving global, large as well as regional and national clients — continues to be effective.
Clients are always looking for solutions to solve their business challenges. In parallel with our engagement approach, we have established teams to marry our clients’ needs, which expand on traditional reinsurance, with our knowledge, risk bearing capacity and innovation. Taken together, such tailored transactions and solutions help clients to sustainably grow their business.
The role of technology
The use of ever-changing technology is a crucial aspect of our business. We identify challenges along the entire insurance value chain that technology could solve. We also work with our partners to exploit new developments and advances. Our focus is on solving business challenges, whether for our clients or ourselves.
We leverage technology to understand risks better, improve underwriting and pricing and to increase efficiency. To help our clients improve their performance, we have developed new solutions such as an end-to-end telematics platform, predictive analytics to identify non-smokers or mobile underwriting platforms for life insurance.
We also prioritise internal efficiency. One example is our P&C Business Management Intelligence tool, which leverages big data techniques for claims management. Technology is a critical catalyst for change which we will continue to use in order to more effectively address the needs of both our clients' and ourselves.