Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section
September 2020

Issues & Answers: Trusted Partnerships

Joe Stuhl, senior vice president, broker executive for Munich Re US, said it’s important to understand the client’s needs, ambitions and business strategy. “Trust is the foundation for any business or personal relationship and our clients know Munich Re has the credibility to bring the solutions they need,” he said. The following are excerpts of a recent interview.

Joe Stuhl

Joe Stuhl
Senior Vice President, Broker Executive
Munich Re US

“People want to talk to reinsurers like Munich Re to find out how we can help them manage through the crisis that is this global pandemic.”


What should brokers look for in a reinsurance partner to help insurers grow their business?

It comes down to four key areas—communications, partnership, innovation and claims management. As far as communication, it’s more important than ever that we have an open dialogue with our broker partners and clients. We found that especially for us, as we evolve from a direct reinsurer to more of a broker market reinsurer, it was really important to build trust with our broker partners. Another part is being innovative or solution-oriented. The client is looking to us to be a trusted adviser on a whole range of issues, from capital management to geographic expansion to analytics. Finally, brokers should look for a partner that is reliable and fair when it comes to claims payment.

What should insurance companies expect from their reinsurance partners to help them mitigate and manage emerging risks?

The broker is looking for a risk expert, someone that can help insure and manage these emerging risks. A lot of times, the number one question a broker is being asked by the client is, “How can you help us grow our business?” Usually that involves getting into a new area where there is emerging risk. The insurer may not have the comfort level or the expertise to either underwrite the risk or manage the claims. That’s where a reinsurer like Munich Re can come in and provide the expertise, help them with forms, help them with pricing, help them with analytics, and then back it up on the claims side. Also, we hear from clients seeking to manage climate change. A company like Munich Re that spends a lot of time with our scientists on understanding the impact of climate change is a great value to brokers.

What are some tools that brokers should expect from their reinsurers that will enable them to offer innovative solutions to their insurance clients?

One of our most innovative tools is called NATHAN. It helps a client by providing spatial technology to identify risk and  exposures worldwide, because we have a global database. Wildfire is another area that is an emerging exposure, especially for West Coast clients. It’s very difficult to model, so we’re working hard to develop some scoring strategies using data, and applying a scientific method to help clients understand their exposures and manage their portfolio.
As for clients who are trying to get into different classes of business, we’ve developed a lot of white label products for exposures such as inland flood.
Cyber is another emerging risk that’s on a lot of folks’ minds. Especially in this remote work environment, their clients are asking them about it. We have developed solutions that allow them to keep their customers from going to another competitor to look for a solution.
As we address these emerging issues, there’s a lot of hard work and dedication put into solving clients’ problems and providing solutions.