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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

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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

Digital technology is transforming the workplace – especially at companies that are highly data- and knowledge-driven, such as Munich Re. We believe this makes it all the more important for us to provide target-group-specific basic and further training for our developers, users and managers. In this way, we want to ensure that our AI-based systems always meet the relevant standards, and that our employees are in a position to use such systems in a responsible way. 

In the course of digitalisation, the volume of available data has increased significantly. This has paved the way for innovative business models and numerous new fields of application. At the same time, the field of application for data analysis is becoming increasingly complex, requiring ongoing training of experts, along with a cross-sector transfer of knowledge.

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 basic and further training for our developers, users and managers through, for example, our Digital School, data analytics curriculum, and Cyber Expert Pool.

We set up the “Digital School” in 2018. It is a comprehensive digital training programme for all employees in the reinsurance business field. The objective of the school is to ensure that each employee has at least a basic knowledge of the digital technologies and trends that affect us. The Cyber Expert Pool was launched in the same year as the school to focus on the reinsurance side of our business. It is a special training programme for cyber security experts aimed at qualifying candidates with suitable professional experience in cyber security to work on cyber underwriting. In addition to the above, Munich Re invests significantly in the data analytics expertise of its actuaries and underwriters by offering a “Black Belt Curriculum”. 

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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Corporate Responsibility Report

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