Using digitalisation responsibly
© Mirexon / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Using digitalisation responsibly

Digitalisation is entering many aspects of our lives both in business and in private. For the insurance industry too, digitalisation is key to a successful future. In the context of the digital transformation, we have defined data protection and cyber security, along with responsible implementation of AI, as key aspects of corporate responsibility.

Data protection and cyber security

Digitalisation offers us the opportunity to extend business boundaries via new business models. And Munich Re already offers its clients a variety of new products and solutions in both primary insurance and reinsurance. Our cyber (re-)insurance knowledge and products put us in a position where we can fulfil our social role as a risk carrier as well as provide our clients with financial protection in case of a cyber-attack.

High priority is also given to data protection and cyber security. It is our aim to not only protect our clients from cyber risks but also Munich Re Group itself. For us, it is crucially important to protect the personal data of our employees and clients, the information of our business and sales partners, and our own company secrets. Ultimately, we are committed to being a competent and trustworthy business partner, so much so that we have anchored this principle in our Code of Conduct

dataprotection
© Andrew Brookes / Getty Images

Responsible handling of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data

Artificial intelligence and big data will play a central role in the insurance industry in future, whether in product design, underwriting, claims management, or in internal accounting processes. Liability issues are changing through the use of AI in insured products and services, for example with autonomous driving or in the field of medicine. Ethical principles are essential when using new data-based algorithms in order to protect the rights of our clients. Under the guiding principle of “Responsible Artificial Intelligence”, Munich Re is currently devising a strategy based on the four “ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI”. 

Principles of “ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI”

  • Respect for human autonomy
  • Prevention of harm
  • Fairness
  • Explicability

From these principles, Munich Re has derived a definition of the requirements for responsible use of AI in its own activities.

Training of our developers and employees

Empowering employees through training is the basis for successful and responsible digitalisation. In order to build our competitiveness and efficiency we are actively engaged in the digital transformation of our own value chain, which has significant implications for our employees in their daily work. As an employer, we act with particular caution and responsibility to support our employees in this transformation process. Digital technology is transforming the workplace, especially at companies that are highly data- and knowledge-driven, such as Munich Re. Additionally, in the course of digitalisation, the volume of available data has increased significantly. This paves the way for innovative business models and numerous new fields of application, such as AI-based loss identification and the analysis of sensor data. At the same time, data analysis is becoming increasingly complex, requiring ongoing training of experts, along with a cross-sector transfer of knowledge. This is the only way to compete successfully in the key fields of digitalisation application.

In order to support the digital readiness of our employees we have established a learning culture that focuses on Munich Re’s digital priorities. We also provide target group-specific training for our developers, users and managers through, for example, our LinkedIn Learning, data analytics curriculum, and Cyber Expert Pool. The central, advanced training program on digitalisation for all employees in reinsurance is the “Digital School”. A wide variety of learning content and formats are offered on the platform, all of which enable self-initiated digital knowledge development. Munich Re places special emphasis on the competent handling of data and algorithms and, as a result, offers a global training initiative: a data analytics curriculum available to reinsurance employees in the form of a multi-level digital qualification.

 

Social impact of AI – promote exchange, protect against risks

AI will have multiple repercussions on society that are impossible to predict today. For that reason, ethical guidelines for dealing with AI can only be achieved in dialogue with politicians and scientists.
Experts in bodies
Our AI experts are members of several bodies, such as the Microsoft expert committee on AI, where they exchange information with other companies and draw up guidelines for dealing responsibly with the technology.
Shareholder in the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
This move will strengthen cooperation between the world’s leading representatives from the fields of industry, science and politics. Not only will the partnership help us develop the best processes for our clients, it will also make the latest level of knowledge available to our employees and further advance research in this field.

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In our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, we describe the ways in which we embrace corporate responsibility in our day-to-day operations.