As windstorms, floods, earthquakes and wildfires continued to hit communities around the world, reinsurance again served as a key resilience tool.
Climate change impacts
As the world watches the number of major devastating weather events tick upward, we see the knock-on effects of events like wildfires, drought and floods contribute to an ever-growing protection gap. These so-called “secondary perils” can either spin off from a “primary peril” like a hurricane or earthquake, making such natural disasters even more dangerous, or result from more weather extremes linked to prolonged hot spells or heavy rain. They show no mercy and wreak havoc every year on the millions of households and businesses in their path.
We are working with our clients and partners to increase resilience around the world by providing insurance coverage and developing new solutions for our society’s growing challenges.Moses Ojeisekhoba
These dangers are of particular concern in the world’s growing cities and densely populated areas which are exposed to rising temperatures and heavier precipitation. In recent years, such events accounted for more than half of all insured natural catastrophe losses.
The positive impact of reinsurance
In 2019, Reinsurance helped people, businesses and communities by paying out more than USD 12 billion in property and casualty claims. The benefits of reinsurance were not only felt by those impacted by natural catastrophes or other property or casualty losses. During 2019, through the use of mortality payments, Reinsurance supported 142 000 family members who lost a loved one. It is our financial strength and stability that allows us to make insurance payouts promptly, making a difference to people in their time of need.
Resilience is at the heart of our strategy
The strategy of Swiss Re’s Reinsurance Business Unit is focused on differentiation, which is driven by three key assets:
- Direct access to our clients, in particular our C-Suite access, which allows us to understand their specific needs and deliver tailored solutions.
- Our risk knowledge, built up over more than 150 years, which helps us build actionable solutions to close existing and growing protection gaps.
- Our capital strength, which allows us to promptly pay claims.
Differentiation helps us navigate an evolving industry, where change is driven by factors including digitalisation and technology, geopolitical tensions and persistently low interest rates. To continue to be effective and help our clients succeed in this complex environment, we have developed a strategy that moves from solving traditional business problems to responding to future needs. Through the three pillars of Core, Transactions and Solutions, we respond to today’s risks, while fulfilling a key role in maintaining society’s resilience.
Core is our traditional business, focused on transferring an insurance risk from a client’s balance sheet to our own, while also deploying technology to make processes more efficient. Transactions are large and complex deals that we can complete thanks to our execution ability and the strength of our balance sheet. Our Solutions are all about working alongside our clients to help them grow their underlying business. Joint risk sharing ensures an alignment of interest and makes us an even stronger partner.
Keeping our edge, now and in the future
These are challenging times for our industry, and we need to be a step ahead of risk, predicting loss trends and providing a compelling risk-return balance for our capital providers. We continue to focus on capital allocation to risk pools and on extending the reach of our products, to make them more accessible and inclusive and help to close the protection gap.