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2020 Innovation Awards: Function for remote cooperation in Zurich Risk Advisor



Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.
REMOTE COOPERATION FUNCTION FOR ZURICH RISK ADVISOR

The function for remote cooperation in the Zurich Risk Advisor was not a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the tool saw growing interest and demand as site visits and inspections became increasingly difficult among pandemics.

"The thought process was about making us more flexible and responsive and to some extent resilient, even if the pandemic was not specifically in our minds," says Norman Eng, New York-based Head of Innovation and Digital Solutions, Risk Technology for Zurich North America, part of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.

The tool, which enables Zurich risk engineers to conduct remote inspections via encrypted video links with policyholders using a handheld device, was launched in July 201

9 after about a year of development, Eng said. It also allows high-risk engineers to capture high-resolution still images from video streams for these inspections.

Interest in the tool, which won the 2020 Business Insurance Innovation Award, grew as the pandemic took hold, according to Mr. Eng.

"In March, we began receiving feedback from customers," who wanted to postpone on-site inspections due to concerns about COVID-19, said Mr. Eng. "It has become a really valuable part of our toolbox."

Policyholders and brokers were "happy" to have the technology available, says Fausto Steidle, Zurich Group's head of risk technology in Zurich.

The Remote Collaboration feature is available to all risk engineers in Zurich to help policyholders and prospects manage risk control. It is available for several coverage lines and does not involve any extra fees or premiums, says Eng.

An advantage of the tool is that it allows experts to collaborate on a project even when they are separated by long distances. In one case, engineers in Spain rated a place in Australia, Mr
Eng sa.

It also enables the insurer to more quickly verify risk improvement measures taken by policyholders and future prospects, which can be checked almost immediately rather than requiring a follow-up visit, Steidle said.

The tool also saves travel time, which on average takes more than two hours each way for site visits in the United States, said Mr. Eng and added that some customers have thousands of places in a portfolio, making a visit to each logistically challenging if not impossible. The remote function allows Zurich to "increase the number of places we have eyes on," he said.

The remote collaboration feature also helps meet policyholders' demand for online and remote tools.

Digital features, Eng said, "Expected by customers to some extent at this time."


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