Our SONAR framework

SONAR ("systematic observation of notions associated with risk") is our Group-wide framework specifically designed to manage and communicate emerging risks. Firmly embedded in the Group’s risk management organisation, SONAR allows us to identify, assess and report these risks in a timely manner and to factor them into our strategic business decisions.

The SONAR process involves several steps. The first is an interactive intranet platform which enables our employees to share and discuss risk notions based on developments in the re/insurance landscape, allowing for bottom-up identification and peer reviews. While many of the risk notions – or “early signals” – flagged on SONAR will never turn into emerging risks, others may well do so. However, as we cannot anticipate which signals will become emerging risks, we scan the horizon quite broadly before concentrating on those with the highest impact potential on the re/insurance business.

Our emerging risk specialists periodically cluster and further assess these risk notions for their potential impact on our business. Finally, in-depth investigations are carried out on selected topics.

You can learn more about one of these topics – algorithmic decision-making – in the case study in Focus: Case study on algorithmic decision-making. To share some of our key insights on these emerging risks with external audiences, we published the fifth edition of our comprehensive Swiss Re SONAR report in 2018 (see below).

swiss re sonar; new emerging risk insights

The Swiss Re SONAR report features emerging risk themes that have the potential to impact the re/insurance industry. These topics derive from our SONAR process and have been assessed by our emerging risk management experts in recent years.


View on a mine - cover of the Swiss Re SONAR report (photo)