INTERVIEW: Christian KREUTZER Head Market Underwriting CEE, Swiss Re

XPRIMM: What are the challenges for the Polish insurance industry in terms of market' digitalization?

Christian KREUTZER: Poland is primarily a broker/agent distribution market both in P&C and L&H insurance, whilst in many other aspects digitalization is a part of daily life. The challenge will be trying to keep up with rising expectations of end-consumers used to technology, while maintaining the current distribution models, and at the same time making sure that agents and brokers also stay relevant in the future. Omni-Channel business models with a combination of offline and online client interaction will be a key-requisite for this.

XPRIMM: Is there a clear change in the demands of clients nowadays and what are some innovative solutions for new growth?

C.K.: The risk pools in today's world are constantly evolving; i.e. personal data security, societal transformation of ownership, to the availability of services and goods, and last but not least, an increased need and demand for health insurance products.

XPRIMM: Is the Polish insurance market different from other CEE markets in respect to the digitalization of insurance services and insurers' approach toward disruption tendencies?

C.K.: Poland, overall certainly shows a wide range of activities in the area of FinTech and has a very lively scene of innovative ideas and start-ups in this space. At the same time, insurance companies have sustainable business models in place and a good reach to their clients. With this I would expect, that cooperative rather than disruptive business ventures will shape the future of Polish insurance in the area of digitalization where insurance companies and Fintech corporates will join forces.

XPRIMM: What are the digital sales concepts offered by Swiss Re for the Polish market?

C.K.: Swiss Re's business model for solutions is not necessarily to deliver ready made products to our insurance clients. We rely on the "local" expertise of our clients in order to transform new ideas or concepts from other parts of the world into the specifics of local markets. We certainly do have ingredients, like our online insurance platform Stork, which support our clients with the digitalization of such new products with an end to end online business management.

XPRIMM: What can you tell us about the comprehensive health insurance at an affordable cost for the Polish market?

C.K.: Currently, people in Poland still have to spend considerable amounts of private funds to pay for medical treatments. The estimates of the respective insurable risk pool go up to PLN 9 billion in potential insurance premium. Together with our cooperation partner from Future Health Swiss Re, we can offer compelling new private health insurance products to the Polish market with a focus on client service and tailor-made coverage structures, supplementary to statutory insurance systems.

XPRIMM: What is the outlook for parametric insurance on the Polish insurance market? Does it have the potential to bring a new boost to the market?

C.K.: Poland has a significant flood risk exposure and the insurance penetration is still lower in comparison to neighboring countries. Pure parametric products might not be the only answer to closing the protection gap sufficiently. However, with a combination of technological tools (i.e. satellites), weather data and individual loss evaluation, we will likely find a good way to bring more risks into insurability at affordable costs.

Swiss Re has hosted on September 19, a meeting with the Polish insurance professionals under the titles "Swiss Re Tour de Raison Poland 2018: Get future ready!". Discussions during the event were focused on how may the Polish insurance industry manage to translate the challenges of digitization and the changing needs and demands of its clients into innovative solutions and new growth. Swiss Re's representatives Evangelos AVRAMAKIS, Head Digital Ecosystems R&D, Filipe SIMOES de ALMEIDA, Board Member of Future Health, David MADER, Head Parametric & Emerging Solutions and Christian KREUTZER, Head Market Underwriting Austria and CEE have presented successful digital sales concepts and discussed about how comprehensive health insurance at an affordable cost could look like in Poland. Parametric insurance products and their potential to bring a new boost to the market for flood coverage in the Poland also made an important topic on the agenda.
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