Richard Thomas, Non-Executive Director of Risk Solved, looks at how the global insurance industry is harnessing the power of risk management software to deliver benefits for underwriters and workplaces in the health and safety sphere.
Safety in the workplace has always had a top spot on the corporate agenda, but never more so than today. As industries begin to forge a path towards pre-Covid operating levels, and workplaces and public buildings welcome back visitors and employees, organisations are sharpening their focus when it comes to managing health and safety.
Helping them in this process are their insurers, who, as trusted advisors, understand their business and have the tools to help manage the risks they face today; but what are the true benefits that insurers can bring to these partnerships and why are we seeing increased insurer activity within health and safety risk management?
Tech as the great enabler
Insurers, brokers and MGAs have vast data sets and access to agile risk management software that has evolved exponentially in recent years. Armed with the capability to capture risk data and process it efficiently and effectively, insurance entities providing commercial property and liability cover are now helping their customers to manage health and safety risks in new and innovative ways.
This development of enhanced functionality within risk management software has reached a point where it enables insurers to provide a wide range of unprecedented benefits - for end users and underwriters, as well as to the insurer's own business. In the health and safety space, this has never been truer, with insurers working with a wide range of industries, including the construction and manufacturing industries, to gather and process data in ways that quickly solve company - as well as industry-wide - problems and bring operational and financial rewards for all parties.
What are insurers bringing to the table?
By offering bespoke risk management software solutions that ultimately improve health and safety in all types of workplace - from offices to production lines and from building sites to the top of an electricity pylon - insurers are now playing a pivotal role in increasing health and safety standards around the world and across varied industries. The most advanced software solutions provide a platform where insurers can work in conjunction with end users to capture risk data from self-assessments and risk evaluations, including video surveys, digitise this data, and processes it to mitigate risk, producing risk benchmarking and trend analysis reports.
For the customer or end user, access to such data allows the identification of health and safety issues specific to a particular site or across the company's entire portfolio. With this information, the user can develop their corporate standards or tailor their training to solve problems and provide help specifically where it's needed. Improving health and safety education in this way reduces a company's accident rate, makes the business safer and more resilient and can protect it from reputational damage.
Bringing all these capabilities together in one place, market-leading risk management platforms provide a central portal from which insurers can provide industries with customisable dashboards that allow for greater risk insights and provide unparalleled efficiency and accuracy throughout the risk assessment process. These platforms are also a place where users can host best practice guidance material, e-learning training modules and links to partners supplying health and safety services. In this way, they are central to improving safety standards, ensuring industry-related and regulatory compliance, and reducing workplace incidents and their associated costs.
Health and safety risk managed
What are the financial benefits? The reduction of accidents and incidents in the workplace is, of course, key. By reducing the number of insurance claims needing to be made as a result of such incidents, companies are improving their risk score for insurance and bringing down their premium costs.
Of course, not all costs are financial. The human cost of accidents and reputational damage to companies associated with a poor health and safety record are vital issues that also need to be addressed. By accessing easy-to-use software, however, companies are increasingly able to keep health and safety top of the corporate agenda by delivering actionable data at management level that allows for the development of proactive health and safety strategies.
This is vital in industries such as the construction industry where mortality rates are higher in comparison to other industries, but it is still vastly important in just about every other workplace around the world. By harnessing the power of data and using state-of-the art algorithms to provide businesses with risk management solutions, insurers are changing the way industries approach health and safety risk management and how they monitor the impact of risk-related improvements they make.
Insurers are benefitting too
The digitisation and automation of data collection and processing has revolutionised the insurance industry in countless ways. Harnessing the power of bespoke software solutions for risk management processes has allowed the insurance industry to provide more immediate solutions for end users, and in the commercial business insurance sector, insurers are now receiving fewer claims for health and safety related incidents.
Through seamless integration with their core business applications - such as underwriting, policy administration, claims processing and pricing systems - risk management software is providing insurers operating in the health and safety space with the ability to produce consistent real-time risk data insights and reduce their loss ratios.
Industries and corporations will increasingly seek out insurers who can offer agile health and safety risk management solutions that benefit not only their workforce but their bottom line. Looking to the near future, this will increasingly include their capability to collect and process data from wearable technologies and IoT sensors, such as those worn by workers in extreme conditions - such as those working alone, at height, or in extreme weather. With the IoT becoming increasingly prevalent, data from these monitors will more commonly be fed directly into the health and safety risk management algorithms to allow for the creation of alarm triggers if certain health and safety parameters are not being met. The software will also use related data to model and create enhanced training for workers, where needed.
The insurers who are best placed to offer these types of solutions that industries are already seeking out will be the ones who see the best results for their own businesses, their underwriters, and their customers.