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Technology, virtual site visits help mitigate the risk of pandemics



Technology is increasingly finding a role in risk technology and loss control programs, with insurers introducing new features and services for policyholders and prospects to increase reach and capabilities, sources said.

Although not created as a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, some of the applications help meet a need or fill a void resulting from the constraints of the pandemic.

Several large commercial insurance companies, including Axa XL, a unit of Axa SA; Chubb Ltd; and FM Global have launched various technology-driven products with a focus on risk technology in recent months.

At the end of November, the North American construction group at Axa XL launched its technical library, a unified collection of technology partners for policyholders in insurers, according to Rose Hall, vice president, head of design innovation at Axa XL in New York.

"Our contractors look to us all the time for advice," Hall said. "Recently, they've been asking us about technology," including everything from image software to drones. "We decided to get into that space to help the client 's navigate" in the landscape of technology vendors and vendors, she said.

More than two dozen technology companies have referral agreements with Axa XL, which has negotiated. fees for their policyholders with the suppliers and have investigated and controlled the companies, Hall said.

Being part of Axa XL's technical library has already led to some new contacts for Pillar Technologies Inc., a New York-based insurtech company that manufactures sensors used in construction projects, according to New York-based founder and CEO Alex Schwarzkopf.

At the same time, in November, Axa XL launched its risk-scanning platform to help companies with website data and evaluations.

Other insurance companies also integrate technology into their risk technology.

The remote visit application offered by FM Global "makes it almost like a personal visit," said Brion Callori, senior vice president, engineer and re-examiner at the insurer's Johnston, Rhode Island headquarters.

The application uses high-resolution fixed-wing images from Boulder, Colorado-based Geospatial Intelligence Center, an insurance industry-based data and image organization, according to Mr. Callori. With an FM Global engineer on a laptop and using latitude and longitude for location purposes, the insurer can "walk the client around the facility to see what we need to see," he said.

It has proven useful this year due to COVID-1

9 related limitations, the application was built as "part of a long term solution when you have travel safety issues", he said.

"Our customers are global," and some countries may have security issues such as Impact Access, Callori said.

During the pandemic, the technology has enabled FM Global to conduct baseline assessments of potential new business.

The remote application has also helped with ongoing risk-reducing efforts, Callori said. It "has really been a great tool to help customers through risk improvement projects that they had been in the middle of."

At the same time, Chubb Ltd. uses software developed internally to schedule ergonomic evaluations at a distance, says Tina Minter. , senior employee compensation specialist for the insurer and part of Chubb & # 39 ;s risk engineering team.

Ms. Minter said that in some cases workers experience a "higher level of discomfort" as a result of working from home. Chubb typically performs thousands of ergonomic evaluations each year as part of its client visits, but as a result of the pandemic, "we switched to performing ergonomic evaluations remotely," she said.

The insurer has carried out approximately 150 remote valuations since May. "It's something our customers are really asking for," Minter said.

The program has also been extended to training sessions for policyholders with large workforces who want to carry out their own evaluations of the remote force.

Christopher Hernandez, digital program manager for Chubb and part of the insurance company's risk technology group, said that internet-connected devices such as monitors can also be useful in managing exposures arising from pandemics, such as vacant buildings or other facilities.

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