Where we are playing
Munich Re focuses on six strategic innovation playing fields where we have grown a portfolio of promising ventures in different maturity stages. Interested?
Our innovation playing fields
Technologies offer great opportunities, for example to address the consequences of climate change or increase the efficiency and flexibility of industrial production. On the other hand, they involve risks, like cyber or privacy risks, which need to be controlled and mitigated. Have a look at Munich Re’s strategic playing fields that we focus on to develop innovative solutions aimed at solving some of the most pressing problems in these areas.
Our innovation portfolio
Interested in more information about current initiatives within these playing fields? Let’s gain insights into our portfolio.
Every form of transportation has integrated digital technology into its operating models. This is especially true for the freight and trucking industry, as critical data points, schedules and routes are managed by sophisticated connected systems. But there are risks associated with this digital connectivity. Malicious cyber-related incidents on commercial trucking fleets have become widespread (average ransomware payouts have tripled in the last two years!).
ShieldsUp is a cyber risk mitigation and monitoring platform for connected trucking fleets. Its pilot is currently focused on US-based trucking fleets with between 200 and 1,000 connected vehicles. ShieldsUp provides an SaaS-subscription-based, production-level incident response service for small and medium-sized trucking fleets. The longer-term plan will incorporate a comprehensive auto-cyber monitoring and mitigation platform as well.
The initiative is in the MVP (minimal viable product) Build Phase II, focused on building a prototype product to bring to market while aggregating a pipeline of co-creation partners.
Executives at trucking fleet companies want to better understand and navigate potentially damaging cyber incidents. ShieldsUp can help them respond to service disruptions and lessen the financial and reputational impacts resulting from these harmful cyber-attacks.
Munich Re and HSB have been increasing their expertise in the cyber threat management space. ShieldsUp is well positioned to leverage that category of experience and market credibility to offer a new service concept solution for cyber-related threats.
Cyber risks expose SMEs in many different ways. But how can sales forces consult the variety of their clients – from doctors to tax agents to hotels and cabinet-makers? As sales agents and brokers of SMEs globally don’t feel comfortable consulting on cyber risks, the decision is not to consult at all.
Managing the complexity and bridging the knowledge gap in SME cyber insurance is what the Cyber Sales Kit makes its mission. The approach: A web-based information portal that enables and encourages insurance sales agents for SMEs to initiate and conduct sales talks, and which works as an entry point to a fully digital end-to-end-sales process.
The Cyber Sales Kit currently focuses on sales agents for SMEs and in the future will also include brokers. At a later stage, further sales forces – including for non-insurance cyber protection, services and tools – may be addressed. Based on the encouraging feedback of more than 200 sales agents the official version rolled out in July 2021 as scheduled to 360 ERGO agents. Two further German clients are scheduled for go-live in October 2021.
Innovating the Cyber Sales Kit with Munich Re means collaborating with the market leader in cyber. Its comprehensive know-how of primary insurers and their SME portfolios and solutions along the entire value chain allows scalability and synergies.
Corporations with net-zero ambitions are facing an undersupply of high-quality carbon removal projects in the voluntary carbon markets. In addition, rising CO2 prices and higher transparency requirements for corporates are putting their net-zero targets under pressure.
TreeTrust is a carbon forestry service provider that enables clients to invest in long-term afforestation projects. Its aim: combining easy-to-invest, high-quality carbon removal projects with technology-enabled monitoring and quantification. New trust-giving mechanisms are key to unlocking new investments in afforestation projects and digitising the voluntary carbon markets.
TreeTrust addresses corporate clients looking for investment opportunities to achieve their net-zero targets. It is entering the MVP (minimum viable product) stage right now by onboarding its first clients.
Munich Re is the right partner, because climate and risk know-how are bundled here to facilitate investments in afforestation. We have the capabilities to build and support a carbon leaders’ alliance investing in carbon removal through nature-based solutions.
Real estate asset managers are facing unpredictable climate-related risks and have limited visibility into the financial impacts that can result from changing climate and weather patterns. They are restricted with imperfect tools that seldom provide the data and actionable insights required to influence their investment decisions, including those related to capital allocation and risk management. Most importantly, the market doesn’t offer solutions that integrate mitigation and adaptation strategies into risk-related products.
The ResCentric pilot is focused on real estate asset managers with more than $10bn of assets under management (AUM), with US-located assets that are exposed to high climate risks, the initial focus being on flood and wind. It’s planned to expand the co‑creation partners to include global real estate asset managers with broader, more diverse portfolios (building categories, sectors, etc.).
ResCentric is developing a risk mitigation SaaS platform that will deliver a financial impact assessment and adaptation suite for real estate asset managers. ResCentric combines advanced analytics, predictive science and climate modelling to calculate asset damage vulnerability and its effect on long-term portfolio performance as it relates to climate resilience.
The initiative is currently in the build phase, focused on building a lightweight prototype to engage potential customers to validate our business model and their enthusiasm to pay while fine-tuning product positioning and differentiation.
ResCentric is most valuable to real estate asset managers who hold assets for 7 to 10 years. These managers are constantly pursuing solutions that will help them identify risks to their portfolio related to climate resilience. It’s important to them to understand the financial impact of these risks and the actions they can take to mitigate them.
Munich Re’s reputation as a (re)insurance provider offers real estate asset managers a high level of confidence in methodology and expertise in the traditional mitigation tactics related to risk management. Additionally, many real estate investment trusts (REITs) are actively looking for collaboration, thought leadership and innovation from insurance companies to achieve sustainability goals.
Industrial IoT initiative works on reducing losses in insurance portfolios through IoT technology and on providing holistic pay-per-output models through digital financing, insurance and technology solutions.
The idea behind this is to bring together state-of-the-art technology and digitised finance and insurance to scale down physical and financial losses and optimise output. And take heart to offer radically new models of providing physical production capacities in pay-per-output models.
The target groups of Industrial IoT are primary insurers and equipment manufacturers. Equipment-as-a-Service and Factory-as-a-Service models with partners like Trumpf or Porsche are currently in operation. Based on initial successes for specific occupancies, commercial rollouts of technology solutions for loss prevention and mitigation at portfolio scale are the planned next steps.
What does Munich Re bring in? Munich Re supports the initiative through its unique combination of expertise in risk transfer and financing, technology capabilities and domain know-how.
Imagine a policyholder calling to make a claim, whether it be property or motor related. Within minutes, the policyholder is connected to a customised app on their smartphone with the help of a claims adjuster. The app lets the policyholder record damage on the spot, enables a claims adjuster to view the video or photo(s), as well as capture inspection report notes and even fully settle a claim the same day, in many cases. Underwriters can also use this solution to expedite the underwriting inspection process and eliminate the need for third‑party inspection services.
The Remote Inspection Solution meets the need for high-quality, instantly available data to improve claims and underwriting by leveraging remote technologies, machine learning on aerial imagery and video technology.
In the first step, the main focus of the Remote Inspection Solution lies on property and motor insurance companies, but the plan is to extend to other industries.
Within the innovation process, the Remote Inspection Solution has already come a long way. In the context of property claims, the CatAI solution that assesses property damage after windstorm events could already be a winning combination with Remote Inspection. The initiative’s success lies in constantly rethinking its ideas and in being ready to adjust its technology stack and processing approach.
Developing the idea of Remote Inspection with Munich Re means merging different perspectives on complex issues and creating technology-based solutions with an extraordinary edge.
To leverage the full power of AI, primary insurers need appropriate high-quality data assets and a way to integrate external AI solution providers by meeting high-level security standards. The idea behind LAIA is to provide a marketplace for AI with quality-assured data assets and to connect external AI solution providers and internal AI teams following the strictest compliance requirements.
LAIA reaches out to two target groups – primary insurers seeking to make the best use of AI for their business cases, and AI solution providers with best-in-class offerings for the insurance industry and beyond.
Within the innovation process, LAIA is currently working on live use cases with selected pilot partners. An early mock-up-based approach put everyone in the team at the same stage and improved customer validation. The main thing learnt was that data is key. Its three dimensions – quantity, quality and accessibility – are the greatest challenge to using AI in insurance.
Munich Re supports the innovation idea of LAIA and helps by providing insurers with unique data assets like datasets or pre-trained models. We like to use our position as trusted partner in the market to enable even more primary insurers to harness the power of AI.
Scaling artificial intelligence requires confidence, but established processes to assess AI are still lacking. So how can we trust the algorithm? This is where CertAI kicks in: It evaluates AI along all relevant risk areas in relation to robustness, privacy and fairness, and along all dimensions such as data, algorithms and development process. Based on this assessment, CertAI wants to offer customers quality seals and certifications based on industry standards and international norms. The trust generated through this solution enhances and accelerates sales processes and solution deployment.
CertAI addresses companies and start-ups developing AI that want to assure clients of their offering. CertAI also supports IT procurers who want to know whether they can trust a supplier’s AI solution and helps departments to convince relevant internal stakeholders of the need for faster implementation of AI solutions within their organisation.
After completing product research und identifying partners and ecosystem, first proofs of concept were carried out. It soon became clear that combining competencies in a cooperation set-up and an extended ecosystem meant solving complicated problems that no partner was able to solve on its own.
As a trusted partner, Munich Re supports the innovation process of CertAI with risk assessment expertise, data and analytics capabilities and TIC know-how across the entire company.