Digitizing the underwriting decision making to help our clients grow
Global investment in InsurTechs surged 2019, setting a record of US$6.37bn.1 Insurers, MGAs and Wholesale Brokers are continually striving to grow their business and maintain profitability, while addressing an increasing demand to compete with the better customer experience offered by these InsurTech competitors. According to Accenture, 86% of insurers believe innovation must happen at an increasingly rapid pace to retain their competitive edge2. They must find ways to work more efficiently and reduce expenses, while at the same time providing faster, better service to their clients.
To grow their business, incumbents in the insurance industry will need to hire specialized talent that would be able to underwrite the business while looking to platform providers or InsurTech startups to digitally support, or improve, their business processes. While this requires substantial investments in people and technology infrastructure, the industry is being faced with a talent gap. According to a 2015 Hartford survey, only 4 percent of millennials are interested in pursuing a career in the insurance industry3.
Munich Re identified this challenge clients were experiencing and looked to empower its clients and partners (primary insurers, MGAs and wholesale brokers) to leverage the opportunities of digitization and address changing consumer expectations. Munich Re’s underwriting engine team sought to offer a better user experience for retail agents and customers through a digitized underwriting process and has successfully deployed its first version of the solution early in 2019, which facilitated meaningful portfolio growth while maintaining profitability.
Partnering with our clients
Successfully building this innovative technology required the combination of several assets of Munich Re:
- its trusted relationships with clients,
- global innovation capabilities
- its expertise for natural catastrophe risk
- and the support of traditional business units.
With this powerful combination, a mindset of co-creation with clients and a highly committed team, Munich Re developed a solution sought after by our clients and which we believe is contributing to the evolution of insurance. The team developed an underwriting engine that simplifies and accelerates the underwriting process and is bundling this technology with Munich Re’s (re)insurance capacity.
Munich Re’s underwriting engine uses Munich Re’s proprietary models and enhances traditional actuarial models with machine learning models. It automates the underwriting process and makes this decision consumable via (RESTful) API calls, which over time, will ease the integration into client systems.
The underwriting engine difference
Munich Re’s underwriting engine should not be mistaken with traditional policy administration systems which have a wide scope and enormous capabilities to cover the needs of the whole value chain. The “engine” instead is laser focused on the underwriting decision making and strives for an easy integration of this decision making into the value chain.
Using Munich Re’s underwriting engine allows our partners and clients to expand into new markets and profitably grow their business supported by digitally augmented underwriting decisions. This gives our clients and partners the opportunity to concentrate on enhancing their sales and distribution capabilities when expanding your business.
The partnership between clients, Munich Re’s global innovation community, and business units allowed the “engine” team to identify a problem, transition a MVP (minimum viable product) into a product, and help transform the product into a successful business model. This structured approach to innovation does not only create value for Munich Re, it benefits our clients and their insureds.
Together with our clients, we are continuing to explore new opportunities to share risk and successes along the innovation journey toward digitalizing insurance to empower success and growth.
Learn more about innovation at Munich Re.
1Willis Towers Watson. 2019 InsurTech investment reaches all-time high with one-third of historic total – almost $2 billion invested in Q4 alone. Global Newswire.January 30, 2020.
2Accenture. The rise of insurtech. https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/insurance/rise-insurtech. January 2, 2019.
3The Hartford, “A generation of leaders,” Millennial Leadership Survey, 2015.