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The research bringing new data to light

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The "Big 6" Close up image of liquids in a testing lab
As Swiss Re's Life & Health Reinsurance (L&H Re) explores ways to utilise digital health data, our research on lifestyle factors provides the roadmap. With updated health insights, we can offer new solutions for assessing and underwriting health risks. Meanwhile, by taking advantage of the latest technology, we ensure clients stay connected to customers.

Bringing data-driven health and wellness programmes to clients and consumers

The demand for new, data-led insurance is on the rise. A 2022 Swiss Re Institute survey showed people are placing a greater focus on their health and are more willing to share personal health data. This is especially true among the younger generation. Incorporating digital health-related data not only gives underwriters robust insights, but may also attract a younger, underinsured or uninsured demographic to seek coverage.

As L&H Re explores ways to utilise digital health data, Swiss Re’s already extensive research on lifestyle factors provides the roadmap. The L&H Re team has identified six key lifestyle factors that have proven valuable for assessing and underwriting health risks. These “Big Six“ are: mental wellbeing, physical activity, environmental factors, sleep, nutrition and substance use.

Graphic image in color of the six lifestyle factor icons

As this medical and behavioural research and modelling of lifestyle risk factors facilitates better underwriting, Swiss Re’s entry into the arena of health and wellness (H&W) programmes also benefits clients and consumers. A recent Swiss Re study showed that a US insurer offering an H&W programme on term life products can achieve significant improvements on mortality and lapse rates. Moreover, a successful programme with even a 25% engagement rate can bring a positive return on investment.

The report illustrated that H&W engagement programmes are a great way to help policyholders lead longer, healthier lives – and are good for business. “The good news is we are uncovering more ways to combine technology and data to encourage better health outcomes“, says Paul Murray, CEO Reinsurance APAC/Regional
President APAC at Swiss Re. “People are becoming more comfortable with digital tools – especially in Asia, where a young, digitally savvy consumer base is making more use of health-tracking technology.“

To help clients navigate the world of digital health trends and H&W engagement, L&H Re has found a number of value-adding propositions and partnerships. Working with select partners, the team is helping insurers bring value to their consumers and their portfolios.

Partnering with Wysa

For example, Swiss Re entered into an exclusive partnership with the global mental health platform Wysa in 2021 to create a solution that helps consumers track their mental wellbeing and access support networks – such as therapy providers or Employee Assistance Programmes. The new app will include improved monitoring and mental health tracking, curated pathways leading consumers to relevant offline support and better reporting for insurance clients. This is designed to enable “pre-notification of claims“ by encouraging policyholders to seek support – through proven techniques – before issues become too extreme. Providing improved support helps insurers benefit from claims savings and increase consumer engagement – especially for disability products.

“There’s an estimated USD 15 billion of mental health claims worldwide each year in insurers’ disability books. That’s why we are striving to better understand and prevent mental illness“, says Paul.

Doctors tools and online evaluations techniques

Developing MyWellLife

Swiss Re’s partnership with dacadoo is also bringing value to clients and consumers. Together with dacadoo, Swiss Re has developed the MyWellLife app, which insurance clients can customise and offer to their consumers. The app guides people through a range of actions that increase their health and wellness. Features such as a health score, AI coaching, gamification and a rewards programme encourage and incentivise healthy lifestyle choices.

Partnerships in Japan

In Japan, Swiss Re has partnered with Daido Life Insurance Company on a “step count discount.“ This programme rewards eligible policyholders with a discount on their life insurance premiums based on the number of steps they take, as calculated by wearable devices.

Another partnership in Japan uses lifestyle data to improve insurance for consumers. In collaboration with JMDC, a medical statistics data provider, Swiss Re is using aggregated medical and wearables data to build better insurance products. With access to wearables data that satisfies regulatory requirements, Swiss Re’s underwriters can build a better predictive engine for disease occurrence in the future. Overviews of sleep and exercise patterns, for example, will create better predictions of future health.

With new solutions for health management and support services for early interventions, Swiss Re can positively influence the health resilience of the people who put their trust in insurance. And by harnessing lifestyle data, our underwriting insights and risk scoring will help insurers provide customers with a simple, personalised, flexible journey and more holistic pricing resources.

The good news is we are uncovering more ways to combine technology and data to encourage better health outcomes.
Paul Murray, CEO Reinsurance APAC/Regional President APAC
Paul Murray


Paul Murray

Paul Murray

CEO Reinsurance APAC/Regional President APAC

Prior to his role as CEO Reinsurance APAC/Regional President APAC, Paul Murray led the global L&H Products Centre, which delivered a refreshed global Life Guide, the industry’s go-to underwriting manual.

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