Caroline Dunn, Chief Underwriting Officer at Zurich UK, anticipates that the accelerated development of artificial intelligence (AI) and a focus on sustainability will be key themes in the insurance industry throughout 2024. In an exclusive interview with Insurance Times, Dunn highlights the transformative impact of AI on underwriting processes and Zurich’s commitment to sustainable practices.
AI Revolutionizes Underwriting Landscape
Caroline Dunn notes a significant shift in the underwriting space in 2023, driven by the rise of artificial intelligence. The integration of AI has streamlined data collection processes, enhancing efficiency and allowing underwriters to focus more on customer-centric tasks. Automation of routine underwriting tasks enables underwriters to leverage industry expertise for customizing policies and building stronger customer relationships.
AI Applications in Commercial Underwriting
AI’s role in commercial underwriting is exemplified by its ability to extract information from diverse sources, including PDFs, printed documents, emails, and handwritten materials. This capability reduces manual workload, allowing underwriters to concentrate on higher-priority tasks. The success of AI in streamlining workflows at Zurich is evident, as underwriters now allocate more time to decision-making that directly benefits customers.
Zurich’s AI Journey Since 2019
Zurich has been at the forefront of AI integration since 2019, launching an eTrading platform for SME business in collaboration with Acturis. This digital revamp aimed to enhance efficiency in the underwriting journey, resulting in increased responsiveness towards brokers and customers. AI’s analytical capabilities have empowered underwriters to make decisions based on better risk indicators, ultimately improving the quality of Zurich’s insurance portfolio.
Real-time Safety Data and Customer Benefits
The incorporation of AI and data processing enables insurers like Zurich to access real-time safety data, allowing policyholders to proactively monitor and learn from this information. This approach not only benefits underwriters in making informed decisions but also aligns with customer interests, delivering better solutions and maintaining competitiveness in the market.*
Sustainability takes center stage
Apart from AI, Caroline Dunn reflects on sustainability as another prominent theme for 2024. Zurich’s focus on achieving net zero emissions and supporting customers in their sustainability journeys underscores the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Dunn mentions that sustainability initiatives extend to areas such as sustainable energy, with dedicated resources for developing expertise in ensuring risks associated with offshore wind farms.
Specialized services for offshore wind farms
Zurich’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its dedicated resources for the development of expertise in insuring risks linked to offshore wind farms. The company provides specialized services for both the construction and operation phases of these projects. This includes assessing risks associated with wind farm projects, designing tailored insurance solutions, and continuous monitoring and adaptation throughout the policy period.
Caroline Dunn emphasizes the need for industry collaboration to develop solutions that ensure a smooth transition for everyone on the journey to net zero. Zurich actively communicates its sustainability initiatives to customers, engaging in conversations about their own sustainability journeys. The focus on collaborative solutions reflects Zurich’s commitment to facilitating a seamless transition for all stakeholders.