“We believe in climate change. We want to take affirmative action…We want to close the protection gap and make the world more resilient. We believe in that—and we also want to take action in helping the industry deal with it.”

Pranav Pasricha’s simple but impactful statements during CM‘s recent Roundtable event on geospatial information systems gave an understanding of why Swiss Re has been active in the GIS space for 15 years.

Pasricha, global head of P&C Solutions for Swiss Re, was responding to a question from panel moderator Mike Fitzgerald, who asked what insurers and reinsurers need to do to successfully move forward with GIS applications.

“It starts with the mindset,” Pasricha said. “At Swiss Re, we’ve always prided ourselves in being that standard bearer for innovation and progress in the industry. And that’s not just for economic reasons. We believe in climate change and its significant impact,” he said.

During the Roundtable, Pasricha noted that Swiss Re dedicates extensive talent and data resources to natural catastrophe modeling, flood monitoring, agricultural monitoring and land subsistence monitoring. The global reinsurer also taps internal expertise and engages in partnerships to build climate change and sustainability models, and to find ways to improve post-catastrophe responses from insurers.

“Sometimes I go to our teams in Zurich and it seems like we’ve hired pretty much every class, every year of all the PhDs in remote sensing out of UZH [University of Zurich], which is one of the top universities in the world,” he said, referring to the knowledge of Swiss Re’s workforce in the GIS area.

“We have made significant investments in partners on the analytics and the toolkit side, both very strong and established partners like Palantir [and] Microsoft,” while also working with “emerging geospatial vendors who can then help us make sense of the data coming in.”

In March, Swiss Re announced a partnership with ICEYE, a synthetic-aperture radar satellite operator and flood monitoring provider. “The partnership will enable us to develop solutions, advance our services to the benefit of our clients and enable faster claims payouts,” Pasricha said at the time.

“The real magic gets delivered” when Swiss Re helps its carrier partners to move forward with more accurate underwriting tools and better catastrophe response tools, ultimately benefiting consumers, he said at the Roundtable.

CB Insights Analyst Mike Fitzgerald served as CM Guest Editor for Carrier Management’s feature on GIS.

(Swiss Re’s innovation mindset expands well beyond the GIS space. Among its other innovation efforts, Swiss Re P&C Solutions runs a full-stack telematics company, and recently launched Impact+, which Swiss Re describes as “the first B2B App store for the insurance industry.”

Read more about those efforts in the CM article, “ITC Reporter’s Notebook: How Next, Root and Swiss Re Are ‘Adapting’ and Innovating,” in the final section titled, “Root or Swiss Re?”)