Hélène Stanway – Global Head of Technology Innovation, AXA XL Roundtable

Date: 13 Oct 2020

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How innovation within the insurance industry has accelerated as businesses drive down risk

At the recent Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership event, members heard from Hélène Stanway, Global Head of Technology Innovation AXA XL, on the disruptive technologies which is transforming the insurance industry, and how the pandemic is fast-tracking adoption as businesses drive down risk.

Hélène led the conversation amongst business leaders on what it takes to build an entrepreneurial dimension into an organisation entrenched in traditional ways of working; “large companies are not natural environments for innovation.” By incorporating a ‘people sport’ team mentality, Hélène stressed that any business could embed a culture of innovation.

Organisations need to drive a culture where people want to innovate. Not one single person can drive innovation – it takes a team and a diverse set of skills to create solutions, “businesses need to create an incubator for innovation.”

And the main driver for this innovation to improve processes and capabilities is through emerging technologies.

A self-proclaimed technology novice when she spearheaded the Technology Innovation division of AXA XL, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, Hélène highlighted the innovative technologies which is underpinning insurance solutions today.

IoT, digital platforms, blockchain, ecosystems, AI and immersive reality are all providing new ways to measure, control, and price risk within insurance. By harnessing the real time data derived from these systems, companies are transforming themselves, increasing efficiency and driving down their carbon footprint in the process.

Providing case study examples on how insurance innovation has adapted and accelerated helping clients meet challenges, Hélène detailed the significant outcomes Digital Risk Engineer, an innovation which uses IoT to measure the health of a buildings and its assets 24/7.

Capturing real-time data across all areas of a business, the Digital Risk Engineer provides round the clock insights into the health of a building including stresses on systems, from the impact of weather changes on the internal environment, system control efficiency, to conflicts of differing internal systems. 

This greater risk oversight and early detection of potential issues has not only produced significant results for many businesses but paved the way for SMART buildings driven by an IoT ecosystem: “We are changing people’s thoughts on risk.”

Hélène also discussed with members how the lockdown has prompted new ways of looking at risk, accelerating innovation in the insurance industry.

Innovation will keep happening, and it will probably continue to happen at a faster pace as we all look to adapt to the changing world around us. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a humanitarian crisis on an unprecedented scale and has forced us all to look at things differently. Innovation in risk assessment, management and transfer will play a hugely important role as we all adapt to the changed and changing world in which we find ourselves. 

The event took place earlier this month as part of Milton Keynes Business Leader’s Partnership (MKBLP) programme of online events.