From out­dated infrastructure

Modern and expanded infrastructure is needed all around the world to support a growing population, together with new and sustainable transportation systems that require significant investment.

to increased
mobility

As projects continue to get bigger and more complex, re/insurers can tap into data, risk knowledge and specific expertise to help bridge the emerging infrastructure financing gap and improve quality of life and safety standards, while reducing poverty and inequality.

The challenge

From construction planning to the operational stage, and beyond

Image: Men at work in the Grand Paris Express construction site.

The infrastructure investment gap (by 2040) in numbers:

USD 15tn

Global infrastructure investment gap

USD 2.0tn

Infrastructure investment gap Europe

USD 603bn

Rail infrastructure investment gap Europe

Source: Global Infrastructure Hub

Swiss Re is acting as lead reinsurer for the Grand Paris Express project – a fundamental rethink and redesign of the city’s public transport network.

You can never completely eliminate risk, but we can quantify and mitigate it, allowing projects such as these to be completed.

Montserrat Alfonso Tort
Senior Underwriter, Swiss Re

With an estimated population of over 12 million people, few parking spaces and a popular city centre, Paris is often congested. An extended and reliable transport network would encourage citizens to leave their own cars behind for their daily commute. One of the goals for the project is also to better connect airports, business districts and research hubs with the suburbs.

The solution

Laying the foundations for the cities of tomorrow

Re/insurance is an enabler for many large construction and infrastructure projects around the world. Without insurance coverage, potential losses, such as construction failure, would be catastrophic for operators and society as a whole.

“In such a mega project like the Grand Paris one, with high values, long construction times and high risk, we have to work very closely with clients to build customised solutions that optimise the cost of risk and provide risk management solutions,” says Swiss Re’s Montserrat Alfonso Tort, who has been working on the project with clients such as SMA Group, since 2016. Swiss Re, with its global experience and technical expertise, is able to provide a palette of services throughout the project’s life cycle that go beyond standard solutions, helping this client handle the inherent complexity, scale and long duration.

The cover provides protection for the many hazards that can occur during the construction phase, such as collapses, subsidence of the terrain that could damage third-party property, floods of the tunnels and fires. It also includes any design errors for a period of ten years, after the project is completed.

The impact

Re/insurance at work: connecting people and businesses

Alexis Hofmann knows the Paris metro well. A faithful user for the last 20 years, he commutes daily to work, to the gym and to his mother’s home, criss-crossing the city he was born and raised in.

Images (clockwise): Alexis Hofmann on the metro; Paris traffic jam; construction sites.

“Paris has two big problems: never-ending traffic jams and lack of parking space. I’ve got my driving licence, but I drive in Paris very rarely,” says the 39-year-old movie trader. Hofmann says the extension of the metro system is a necessary step to meet the needs of a growing population and is confident that the project will help reduce overcrowding on some of the busiest lines. He also says new connections to previously isolated areas in the suburbs will make it easier for him to visit family members living in those neighbourhoods.

“This project will help people from Paris and surrounding areas connect with each other and make public transport more convenient for all,” he says.

Thanks to Swiss Re’s backing, we are able to cover all kinds of risks that naturally come with such a pivotal and ambitious project.

Pierre Esparbes
CEO, SMA Group

Meet
Montserrat Alfonso Tort

Every risk brings new, interesting challenges, and no two days are the same!

How old are you and what is your nationality? I am 47 and I am both Spanish and Swiss.

How long have you been working at Swiss Re? I joined Swiss Re in July 2012.

What is your professional background? I am a chemical engineer, with a PhD in material science. After spending two years devoted to academic research, I worked for 11 years in research & development in the construction materials industry.

How did you start to work in re/insurance? I felt ready for a change and the re/insurance sector is one of those industries that is open to people from a variety of professional backgrounds looking to make that change. One of the most appealing aspects of a role in re/insurance business were the many routes I could take as my career developed.

What makes you interested in working in re/insurance? Watching every day's progress turn into a completed project, day after day, is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Better still, we really can make a difference in society. After the job is done, we are able to look back proudly at what we helped build and know that it made a real difference to many people.

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