The future for international programmes involves speed, transparency and the need for standardised data, argues Reto Collenberg

As a relative newcomer to the world of international programme business, one of Swiss Re Corporate Solution’s biggest advantages was our ability to build a platform from scratch. Unlike some of our competitors, we were not held back by cumbersome legacy technology and could therefore hit the ground running when we started to offer international programmes at the beginning of 2019.

We consulted our customers at every step of the journey to understand where their pain points were and how to engineer a system that significantly improved the customer experience. Anyone who has ever had involvement with international programmes knows they are extremely complex, with constantly changing requirements as businesses grow and expand and as tax and regulatory requirements evolve.

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Among the features that were important to our customers were contract certainty at inception, connectivity between all market participants, and a programme that was designed to facilitate tax and legal compliance. Often, for instance, a customer would experience a loss, which was not covered in its local policy but would be covered under the master programme. This kind of situation tends to introduce tax complications for the customers in terms of how and where the claims settlement is made.

Our customers wanted local policies that mirrored coverage in their master programme, so most losses would be covered locally, mitigating these payment transfer headaches. With our new property framework called ONE Form, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions ensures the highest possible alignment between master and Swiss Re issued local policies. With that we are making sure the customer has exactly the same broad coverage locally as it does in its master policy, resolving tax and compliance issues. As a result, the complex issuance process is made faster and more efficient.

Speed and transparency

Another feature that our customers told us was important to them is transparency. One of the benefits of the customer portal PULSE we have set up therefore is the ability to gain a comprehensive overview of the entire programme at the click of a button.

Risk and insurance managers and brokers can login on their laptop or computer for immediate real-time visibility into the programme, showing how many local policies are issued, how many claims are being handled etc. Basically, whatever we see on our proprietary International Programme Administration (IPA) platform, they can also see on their screens.

Speed, accuracy and transparency are going to be major themes as international programme business moves forward, and sophisticated technology and more standardised data will facilitate this.

To use a motor analogy, international programme business needs to be powered by turbocharged racing engines, not diesel ones. But we need the whole industry to get on board, including carriers, brokers and customers, if we want to advance the efficiency of how to manage international programmes as an industry.

Reto Collenberg is Silver Account Manager & International Programmes EMEA, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ International Programmes webpage.