Munich Re Launches Business Development Unit for Technology-Driven Transportation Risks

The Mobility Domain will focus on strategic partnerships and pilot projects aimed at creating risk management solutions for telematics, autonomous vehicles, collision avoidance and other emerging technology-related risks.

(Illustration of BMW’s fully automated parking capabilities. Source: BMW.)

Munich Reinsurance America has launched a Mobility Domain, the first business development unit within the company’s New Strategic Markets business division, to address emerging technology-driven transportation risks. The Mobility Domain will focus on strategic partnerships and pilot projects that will enable the company and its clients to develop risk management solutions for areas such as vehicle telematics, autonomous vehicles, shared-use mobility and collision avoidance technology.

The unit is the first named “domain” within Munich Re’s New Strategic Markets business division. The Mobility Domain will focus on strategic partnerships and pilot projects that will enable the company and its clients to develop risk management solutions for what the company calls a “new era of mobility,” including such areas as vehicle telematics, autonomous vehicles, shared mobility and collision avoidance technology.

Pole Positioning 

“Autonomous vehicle and other mobility technology sit at the intersection of a number of emerging trends that, together, will change not only driving but the nature of mobility,” says Mike Scrudato, Senior VP, New Strategic Markets and head of the Mobility Domain. “Development of these visions could face a host of social, economic and regulatory factors impacting insurers and their customers. Those who remain at the forefront of AV developments will be better positioned to successfully manage and leverage these impacts and business opportunities.”

Stefan Schulz, Head, Motor Consulting Unit, Munich Re.

Stefan Schulz, Head, Motor Consulting Unit, Munich Re.

The Mobility Domain’s launch represents, in part, a response to the changing concerns of Munich Re’s insurance direct insurer clients suggests Stefan Schulz, head of the company’s Munich-based Motor Consulting Unit. “The auto insurance market is very much on the move,” he remarks. “Our auto insurance clients put the impacts of digitalization at the top of their agenda, together with the issues of profitability, ‘big data’ and competition from car makers who are increasingly offering insurance when selling new cars.”

Competitive Edge

Work has already begun within the Mobility Domain to identify key partners, technology and data sources that will let the reinsurer steal a march on its competitors, according to Jill Beggs, head of New Strategic Markets, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. “This work has tremendous potential to save lives, reduce accidents, provide fuel economies and improve road efficiencies, as well as to open up new business opportunities for Munich Re,” she says.

 Jill Beggs, Head, New Strategic Markets, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.

Jill Beggs, Head, New Strategic Markets, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.

Munich Re America reports the following business engagements that Mobility Domain has undertaken so far:

  • Partnering with a developer of mobile robotics pilot projects, to gain firsthand knowledge of how autonomous vehicles (AVs) will operate in real-world environments, and to gather AV data;
  • Joining a leading academic Mobility Transformation program—part of a major research partnership of industry, government and academia, laying the foundation for a commercially viable system of connected and automated vehicles;
  • Aligning with a global Mobility Business Accelerator program to support entrepreneurs in data analytics, the sharing economy, and the Internet of Things as they create the mobility systems of the future;
  • Implementing a Crash Avoidance Pilot program for city buses with a Western state public transportation system;
  • Partnering with the developer of a motorcycle safety warning system to bring crash avoidance technology to the motorcycle market;
  • Developing insurance options for a classics car provider to foster the growth of the car sharing economy;
  • Working with a premier academic institution and state leaders on the potential  of establishing a center for research, certification and commercialization of automated driving technology in New Jersey;
  • Supporting a non-profit organization that is utilizing a collaborative open source forum to encourage the development, engagement and acceptance of AV technology; and
  • Piloting a vehicle safety technology tool with Munich Re employees to help assess how technology can change driving behavior.

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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