Empowering wellness

Mark Senkevics on the importance of protecting the wellbeing of our people

Delivering, restoring and actively protecting the wellbeing of people, enterprises - or entire economies - is at the core of reinsurance, and the industry’s leaders are driving innovation and change in ways that is improving the health of individuals and companies around the world.

Mark Senkevics is Managing Director and Head of Australia and New Zealand, Swiss Reinsurance - a tenant partner of International Towers. He’s a respected and knowledgeable veteran of the industry who’s passionate about diversity and wellness.

What are some of the innovations enterprises are investing in to improve wellness?

The rapid development of technology has presented a number of opportunities for the insurance industry to think creatively about the health and wellbeing of our customers.

An exciting development in this area is wearable devices, why?  Wearables have already achieved mass appeal, in 2015 alone, 50 million wearable devices were shipped across the globe.  The information captured and measured on these devices has the potential to change the relationship paradigm - between consumers, medical professionals, employers and the insurance industry.

The depth and breadth of information gained through such technology advances is just one of a number of components in the health ecosystem but it is a key link between an individual and the necessary institution – such as a hospital and their insurer.

If we consider a customer who might have an insurance claim, they will often grapple with the complexity of the health system with the need to provide the same information to their doctors, specialist, employers and then to insurance companies. Technology enabled devices with centralised and accessible information will create a much more integrated, seamless (and less stressful) experience for the patient, their healthcare provider and insurer.

But the real excitement around these innovations isn’t just around the data or even the integration – but the ability to more closely connect individuals to a community and get them help even before a patient realises that they need it. Obviously there are privacy issues that must be considered in all of this and an area where regulation needs to ensure it’s kept up with technology.

Apart from proactive initiatives to improve wellness, what are the key ways companies can help facilitate faster recovery from unforeseen events, both for individuals and business units?

We can all improve how we overcome adversity by building resilience – at the personal, industry and community level.

The insurance industry has traditionally had two major touch points with its customers, when the policy is purchased and at the time of an event when a claim is made. However, there are questions as to whether this delivers an optimal outcome for the customer. The industry is changing, and insurers are becoming more proactive and participating in their customers’ journey. 

Take an insurer’s approach to personal injury or workers compensation as an example. The traditional approach suggests that when the customers submits a claim the insurer will pay an amount to ‘compensate’ the customer. But there is an emerging school of thought suggesting that occupational rehabilitation support, in conjunction with the financial benefit payment not only helps the individual get back on their feet faster but also serves to build their personal resilience. The research also advocates that connectivity to the workplace actually improves the recovery process, leaving the injured not only financially better off but also improves their physical and psychological wellbeing.

Our recently published report Rehabilitation Watch showed that insurers are evolving with rehabilitation support for disability insurance customers increasing three folds over the past three years, in recognition of the positive affect that rehabilitation has on the customer’s wellness and health outcomes.

For the full story plus many others, visit us at Two or Three International Towers and pick up a hard copy of the second edition of our It. publication.

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