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Annual Report 2019 > Insurance
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Best Pratices in PZU
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Insurance continues to be the PZU Group’s core business despite constant evolution, organic growth and acquisitions. The business model based on effective sales channels and efficient claims handling functions in their midst. The PZU Group offers insurance in Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine (life and non-life insurance), as well as in Latvia and Estonia (non-life insurance).

Clients and products

The PZU Group has a comprehensive product offer spanning life and non-life insurance for 16 million clients in Poland. They are retail clients, sole proprietors, small and medium enterprises and large corporates. The PZU Group enjoys the trust of over 1.2 million clients in the Baltic States and Ukraine.

Non-life insurance is offered in Poland under three brands: PZU, the traditional and most well-known brand, LINK4 associated with direct sales channels and TUW PZUW, the brand under which the mutual insurance company does business. SECTION NON-LIFE INSURANCE Life insurance is sold in Poland under the PZU brand. SECTION LIFE INSURANCE. International insurance activity is conducted under the brand of Lietuvos Draudimas in Lithuania, under the Balta brand in Latvia and under the PZU brand in Ukraine and Estonia. SECTION INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS.

Distribution network

PZU’s sales network is organized in a manner that ensures sales effectiveness along with high quality services. Among all the Polish insurers PZU offers its clients the largest sales and service network. It has 410 branches with convenient access across the country with 189 in small communities and tied agents, multiagencies, insurance brokers and electronic distribution channels.

     

For you and your family 

Life

We provide health care for you and your relatives. We help you when you have an accident or fall ill. We give financial support to your family in important and tough times.


Non-life, travel, TPL

We take care not just of your home but of all your assets. We also protect you and your health. We provide support if you encounter unexpected problems when traveling – in Poland or abroad. You can rely on us if you or your relatives accidentally hurt someone else.


Investments and savings

We offer a host of investment and savings opportunities. You can grow your capital with us in mutual funds and secure additional funds for retirement. You can also choose savings solutions combined with life cover.

For companies and employees

Employee life and health

Gain a competitive edge on the labor market. Offer insurance cover to your employees. Give them and yourself some support in difficult situations (e.g. in sickness, after an accident or in the event of a relative’s death). Also tend to health prevention.

Property and TPL insurance for companies

We support large corporates, small and medium enterprises and farms. We insure their property and care for their employees. We also lend a helping hand in tough circumstances related to practicing a profession.


Corporate finance and investments

We offer insurance and financial instruments to enable you to invest conveniently and safely and grow your capital. We will help you care for an additional pension for your employees. In turn, thanks to numerous insurance guarantees we care for the financial security of your company and your business partners.

In 2019, the PZU Group’s distribution network included the following:

  • tied agents – in Poland the PZU Group’s own agency network consisted of 10 thousand tied agents and agencies. Sales are conducted through the agency channel predominantly in the mass client segment, particularly of motor and non-life insurance as well as individual insurance (life insurance). In the Baltic states (the PZU Group is active on the non-life insurance market in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia through Lietuvos Draudimas, AAS Balta and Lietuvos Draudimas’ PZU Estonia branch, respectively, while on the life insurance market it is active through PZU Lietuva GD), the Group’s agency network consisted of approx. 700 agents, while in Ukraine (where PZU is active on the non-life insurance market and on the life insurance market through PZU Ukraine and PZU Ukraine Life, respectively) it had roughly 400 agents;
  • multiagencies – on the Polish insurance market, the PZU Group cooperates with more than 3.2 thousand multiagencies. They perform sales operations targeted mainly at the mass market (insurance of all types is sold through this channel, especially motor insurance and non-life insurance) as well as individual life insurance. In turn, in the Baltic States Group companies cooperate with 21 multiagencies and in Ukraine with 15 multiagencies;
  • insurance brokers – in Poland, the Group, in particular PZU’s Corporate Client Division, cooperated with almost 1.1 thousand insurance brokers. In the Baltic states where the brokerage channel is a major insurance distribution channel, the Group companies cooperated with over 408 brokers, whereas Ukrainian companies cooperated with more than 37 brokers;
  • bancassurance and strategic partnership programs – in the area of protective insurance, in 2018 the PZU Group cooperated in Poland with 13 banks and 21 strategic partners. The PZU Group’s business partners are leaders in their industries with client bases offering enormous potential. In strategic partnership, cooperation applied mostly to companies operating in the telecom and power sectors through which insurance for electronic equipment and assistance services was offered. In the Baltic states, PZU cooperated with 4 banks and 14 strategic partners. In Ukraine, the respective numbers were 7 banks and 4 strategic partners.

Find a branch and an agent

The PZU sales network is subject to continuous expansion and change. It is one of the investments, through which we are able to implement the strategic assumption of “being closer to clients”. In 2019, PZU Życie built a team of 500 new effective relationship managers, also known as Network Plus. A change in the way of training, providing incentives and remunerating agents in this network took place not only without harming the traditional agency network, but it also allowed for growth in both sales channels.

 

The network of PZU’s tied agent offices is also changing. The goal of the projects launched in succession is to transform agency offices into professional outlets. In July 2018, the Agent 3.0 program was launched, which helps PZU to be even more effective in reaching clients throughout Poland and gives its agents a chance to maximize their sales potential and raise service standards. The support provided by PZU (orientation, logistics, substantive help or modern equipment) is suited to the needs of agents in large and small towns. At the end of 2019, the number of the PZU’s tied agent offices was greater than 1,500.

SECTION BANKING AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS Cooperation with the banks within the PZU Group (Alior Bank and Bank Pekao) forms an additional platform for PZU to build lasting client relations. In 2019, more than 12 thousand employees / banking advisors (7.3 thousand in Bank Pekao and 4.8 thousand in Alior Bank) were certified to sell PZU’s insurance products and received the KNF license.

Claims and benefits handling

For clients, claims handling is the ‘moment of truth’ when the quality of the product purchased from an insurer is tested. Satisfying client expectations during the claim handling/case handling process is the key to building PZU’s client relationships. Further measures were taken in 2019 to streamline and shorten this process. As a result of those measures, more than 86% of the simple benefits are handled on the day they are reported.

How to report a claim?


In 2019 PZU extended the online service to report claims and benefits to include automatic calculation of the claim amount in casualty claims. The new release of the service also facilitates claim notifications for foreign partners. The service upheld its emphasis on simple communication language and was awarded the “Simple Polish Language Certificate” by the Institute of Simple Polish at the University of Wrocław.

In Poland, claims and benefits handling is carried out in competence centers operating across the country. It is founded predominantly on electronic information and is not tied to the insured’s place of residence or the insurable event. The competence centers handle specific types of damage, which is conducive to stricter specialization and boosts client satisfaction. These units specialize, among others, in handling claims arising from property, motor or personal damage, claims reported by corporate clients, benefits, damage involving in the theft of personal vehicles or claims handled as part of the direct claims handling (DCH) service. A separate unit deals with technical issues related to claims arising from motor or property damage. A similar claims handling model is in place at PZU Estonia where there are 3 competence centers. Centralized among them is only the handling of certain types of damage, such as personal injuries, large property damages and marine damages. In other Group companies operating in the Baltic states and Ukraine, the claims and benefits handling process is entirely centralized.

In 2019, PZU created a separate unit to handle foreign claims and assistance services – the Foreign Claims Handling and Assistance Center, which specializes in handling international motor insurance claims, correspondent claims and claims representative’s claims and also handles all the claims notified under travel insurance.

PZU has a Relationship Manager who stays in contact with the injured party for the duration of the claims/benefits handling process. That person’s assignment is not only to collect the documents needed to take a position on the claim/benefit in question, but also to convey information to clients about the stage of service.

PZU has accelerated the process of determining the amount of damages by introducing new forms of determining the extent of a loss. On top of conducting a vehicle inspection in a fixed inspection point, through a Mobile Motor Expert in a venue chosen by a client or in a Repair Network workshop, the quantum of the loss may be determined under a simplified service procedure (without conducting a vehicle inspection), self-service (calculation of the amount of the loss on your own) or video inspection (using an app to determine the amount of the loss). A Video Inspection is an alternative form of conducting an inspection of vehicles and other damaged items and determining the amount of the benefit due in claims handled under motor and property insurance. PZU is recording greater and greater interest among clients in this form of determining the amount of the loss.

To meet client expectations PZU supports handling the entire claims handling process with the use of a smart phone. With a smart phone injured parties may report a loss, summon Assistance on the roadside or from home, initiate the repair process in a Repair Network workshop, conduct a video inspection and determine the amount of the loss. Only the final stage in the claims handling process, i.e. determining the amount of the indemnity and disbursement belongs to PZU in this process.

The claims self-service, which has been in operation since 2017, is currently triggered at the time of reporting a claim. In 2019, a client-friendly graphic scheme was implemented for the notification of ADD insurance claims and benefits. The client personally marks the character of injuries sustained on an intuitive human figure, which allows the mechanisms embedded in the system to calculate the benefit amount. The client may accept or reject the proposed amount. This is the only solution of this type on the market for handling ADD claims and benefits. In motor and property damage and in centers repairing devices damaged by a power surge, the client may also, prior to making a decision, assess on his or her own in a few steps the amount of indemnification payable. This information is then forwarded online to the Relationship Manager who executes the payment. This service allows clients to participate in the payout decision in a simple and convenient manner and accelerates the process itself by reducing the waiting time for the disbursement of the benefit. Satisfaction surveys carried out among PZU clients reveal the fact that insureds are of a very favorable opinion about this service. PZU companies in the Baltic States are rolling out similar improvements. In 2019, automatic death benefits payments were implemented. The payments are prepared by automated processes, which speeds up the handling process of those cases considerably. 

On top of accelerating the process of determining the amount of the loss PZU has introduced a number of automated processes in order to speed up the payment of the indemnity by introducing robotics elements at the stage of summarizing the claims notification, sending out correspondence, making the claims decision and downloading police memos. Robotics are used in specific types of claims.

Additionally, in 2019, in order to optimize the claims handling process, an innovative technology using artificial intelligence algorithms was introduced in Repair Network workshops. The artificial intelligence algorithms implemented by PZU are able to analyze photos documenting a loss, but also name a specific part of a vehicle, assess the extent of the damage and classify a part for repair or replacement. Artificial intelligence needs 30 seconds to carry out such an analysis. Moreover, the solution makes it possible to select 90% of the documentation that fulfills the requirements needed to preserve high quality of claims handling in PZU. Artificial intelligence will forward the remaining claims requiring additional expertise directly to PZU employees.

Artificial intelligence also finds application in the analysis of documents and correspondence that PZU received from its customers. In 2019, a pilot program was carried out, which focused on the application of artificial intelligence mechanisms in the e-mail correspondence handling processes. The pilot confirmed that, by examining keywords, it is possible to automatically recognize and classify correspondence based on its purpose. The mechanisms assess not only the content of the e-mail but also its attachments in various formats. This technology, when combined with robotics (Robotic Process Automation) offers unlimited opportunities in further automation of responses to client questions. Also in 2019, the pilot of application of artificial intelligence to the understanding of medical documentation was completed. The application of machine learning and development of a model based on documents templates had surprising results. Out of a diverse set of new documents, the system is able to automatically find the correct one and is very effective in harvesting the requested data. It is irrelevant where in the document the data are located. The system is also able to standardize data, for example by changing various data formats into a single format desired by the user. The structured data are more suitable for further processing.

LINK4 also invests heavily in data analysis. As a result of such analysis, the company is able to understand the client better and prepare a suitable offer. The other transformation focus is the claims side, where new technologies can strongly drive our competitive edge. The robots that LINK4 has been using since 2017 make the claims handling process much less engaging for the client and also fast.

In 2019, the family of claims robots was increased by 15 more, which had a significant impact on the efficiency of work and the possibility to introduce additional activities that are satisfactory for the client. Among others, they support: automatic registration of motor and casualty claims, update of the reserve amount and entry of costs of inspections carried out by third party suppliers, verification of a vehicle’s loss ratio, collection of loss documentation, handling of memos from the Insurance Guarantee Fund, handling of medical opinions or review of vehicles with MOD insurance.

However what will determine competitive edge in the coming years is claims segmentation analytics, on which LINK4 launched research in 2019. It will enable integration of analytics engines, which determine the claims registration and handling path. The change allows a relationship manager, at the claims registration stage, to select an appropriate path for handling the claim taking into account the business rules as well as the client’s behavior model and its preferences. During a discussion, the relationship manager enters data in the system and then obtains the proposed claims handling path, which is communicated to the client during the same visit. Claims segmentation analytics also enables early detection of total losses, which can speed up the claims handling process significantly in such cases. In the claims handling process, loss adjusters have a significant impact on the customer experience. Their work in LINK4 is also supported by technology. A specially-designed application allows them to calculate the claims amount more precisely based on the stored customer data. The solution enables the analysis of information obtained in contacts with the client, which allows it to propose the cooperation scenarios that match client preferences the best.

In addition to the robots supporting LINK4 employees in their daily work, the company also provides tools that the clients themselves may use to reduce the claims handling time to the necessary minimum. This is supported by the new mobile app and accelerated claims handling paths. In 2019, LINK4 introduced a new claims registration form in TPL motor insurance, which enables quick and efficient collection of data and then setting of a claims handling path based on business rules and actual client preferences. Clients increasingly select the accelerated claims handling path, under which the insured may receive the benefit within 24 hours. They can use an application in the phone’s mobile browser and attach photographs of the loss in a simple form. In 2019 more than 30% motor claims and 65% apartment claims were handled using the simple procedure. The fastest claim was paid out to the client’s account four hours after the loss was reported.

PZU was the pioneer in DCH (Direct Claims Handling) on the Polish insurance market. Currently, DCH is executed in two forms: at an individual level or under the agreement worked out by PIU. DCH is offered by entities accounting for nearly 70% of the motor TPL insurance market, as measured by gross written premium. The said agreement, which is based on a lump-sum approach, has greatly simplified the settlement of claim payments between insurers. PZU also maintained its own DCH solution previously introduced for clients injured by insureds in establishments that did not sign the agreement. In Estonia, direct claims handling has been regulated by the provisions of the TPL Insurance Act since the beginning of 2015. In turn, clients in Latvia who wish to take advantage of DCH must purchase a rider on their insurance.

PZU has built the largest network of centers in Poland that arrange replacement vehicle rental services and roadside assistance services. A network of centers offering these services is also being developed in the Baltic States. Currently, clients of Lietuvos Draudimas in Lithuania and the Lietuvos Draudimas branch in Estonia may benefit from replacement vehicle rental services and roadside assistance services. Moreover, since 2015, Lietuvos Draudimas as the only insurer in Lithuania has been arranging such services for holders of TPL insurance.

In 2019, we optimized the Road Assistance selection process in Poland. At present, the Road Assistance selection process is done automatically by robots, which search for the nearest road assistance crew based on information entered by the consultant. Road assistance selection can occur as the consultant is still talking to the client, which reduces the time a tower reaches the insured significantly. Moreover, at the end of 2019, PZU signed agreements with two per-minute car rental companies. A client entitled to a replacement vehicle may use a PLN 300 or PLN 500 voucher to use a vehicle from these operators. As a result, the client is able to use the replacement vehicle only when it is really needed.

2019 was another year of cooperation with repair shops in the area of post-accident vehicle repairs in countries covered by the PZU Group’s insurance business. PZU has created Poland’s largest network of cooperating repair shops enabling the Company to control the quality and speed of service already at the claim handling stage. Every client who orders a repair in the PZU Pomoc repair network receives a Quality Certificate guaranteeing that the repair has been performed in accordance with the highest standards. PZU is refining its proposal to assist clients in managing damage remains by selling them on the Online Assistance platform. Clients are presented with a proposal to sell their damage remains for the highest purchase offer obtained from reliable entities that cooperate regularly with the platform administrator (a similar solution is also available to clients of the Estonian Lietuvos Draudimas branch).

PZU keeps working on improving communication with its clients. Traditional letters are being replaced by electronic and telephone forms of contact. Moreover, efforts are being made to adapt all communication, e-mails and text messages for clients to the principles of a simple language so that the information provided to the clients is clear and comprehensible.

Visualizing distinct case handling stages in the form of an Online Case/Claim Status report available to the Group’s clients in Poland is a great convenience to clients. By logging into the www.pzu.pl website and stating the claim/case number, clients may find out in exactly how many steps PZU will carry out the claim handling process, what it will involve, what the current stage of the case is and what has already been done. Also available on www.pzu.pl are video tips on how to handle the claim online. Short videos featuring PZU employees explain to clients how to report a case in a few simple steps and then how to check the status of the case or how to take advantage of the ADD policy in case of an accident.

Since 2014, the Assistance Organization Team (PZU Client Relationship Managers) has been operating in PZU, a solution that is unique on the insurance market. These are mobile members of staff who visit injured persons directly in their homes to determine the actual standard of living of the victim and in consultation with the victim assess his/her needs arising from the accident for which PZU is liable under TPL insurance. For severely injured accident victims, PZU Client Relationship Managers arrange a broad array of medical and social rehabilitation and psychological support. Injured parties have the option of obtaining treatment and rehabilitation in modern medical centers cooperating with PZU. Persons who have become disabled as a result of an accident are given advice on how to adapt the closest environment to their needs, how to select properly devices that compensate for dysfunctions and disability. Injured children are covered by a program of comprehensive, long-term psychological support featuring, as one of its elements, therapeutic/leisure camps run by counselors experienced in treating post-accident trauma. In 2019, this PZU program was extended to also cover the children who experience trauma after a parent dies as a result of oncological disease. This way PZU addresses the social effects of this increasingly common civilization disease.

PZU continues the property pre-claims handling procedure introduced in 2017. It entails initiation of contact with a client who has been injured in a chance event, i.e. after a gas explosion. Within the scope of measures taken in this process, in 2019 PZU contacted 143 clients who received a proposal of utilizing assistance services in line with the type of event that had occurred. In some of the cases claims are registered in order to launch an efficient claims handling process. Each contact generated a positive client response.

In 2019, the Remote Client Service Center launched the PZU GO service. Its main aim is to help on life threatening situations and monitoring driver and passenger safety when driving, as well as developing correct and safe driver behaviors. The PZU GO mobile app is connected to a small beacon device, installed on the car windshield. The device collects data and sends them to the PZU GO app via Bluetooth. When it detects a situation which may suggest an accident it sends information on the client’s location to PZU’s Remote Client Service Center. A Center employee contacts the client to check if they need help. If telephone contact cannot be established, emergency services are called to the scene (ambulance, fire brigade, police). The PZU hotline may be also contacted by pressing a single button (SOS) on the app’s main screen. PZU GO is not only emergency help – it is also professional assistance in arranging for towing, replacement car rental, claim registration or help in quick disbursement of the claim. After the event PZU remains in constant contact with the client so that at each stage of recovery and repair of material damages, the clients know that they can rely on PZU. In the process, emergency services have been called to 12 events and road assistance to 10 events.

In 2019, PZU started to professionally use a drone technology entailing visual material processing. The first flying missions were executed in large-scale damages using the DJI Matrice 200 drone equipped with a photo/video camera. The 3D model of the waste storage halls damaged by an extensive fire generated on the basis of photos from the drone in the PiX4DMapper photogrammetric program is a good example of its application. It made it possible to measure the actual distances, areas and volume of selected model elements. In addition, the machines located in the halls could be analyzed in 3D for identification and measurement purposes.

In practical handling of crop claims resulting from ground frost PZU applies the remote sensing method. Remote sensing makes it possible to obtain information concerning facilities or areas from a distance (remotely), most frequently by using sensors installed on aircraft or satellites facilitating the measurement of reflected and emitted radiation. In the autumn of 2019 PZU carried out the tests of the use of satellite remote sensing in risk underwriting in conclusion of winter crops insurance. Satellite remote sensing also worked in elimination of frauds involving reporting damages in fields where the crops have already been collected. The remote sensor method features objectivity and makes it possible to source the data required to calculate the indemnity quickly for a large geographical area. PZU can see a broad application of remote sensing in claims handling hence the method is subject to constant improvements.

An invariably significant area of operation in claims and benefits handling is the prevention of insurance fraud. PZU constantly improves solutions to curtail the payment of undue benefits, hinder practices of clients counterfeiting documentation filed during the submission of a claim or statements regarding their health status and purport to simplify many processes. In 2018 support was extended to identify undue payments of claims and benefits by incorporating a Fraud Management System (FMS) when examining non-life insurance claims. Contracts were signed to procure services involving the audit of electronic registers of post-accident vehicle traction and sourcing documents and information from international entities.

In January 2019, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Team was moved to the Security Department. This change was aimed at establishing single point of supervision over all cases associated with prevention of crime, including insurance crime.

PZU also tries to construct the processes and improve client service based on the employees’ experience. By the end of 2018 the Inspiration Council was established. The Council members include invited employees with outstanding knowledge, competences, creativity and engagement. There are over 400 participants. The Inspiration Council is a place where employees put forward solutions facilitating their daily work and improving client service processes. Ideas are analyzed, developed in detail and, to the extent possible, implemented. Employees appreciate both the development opportunities and their impact on the changes. 

The Subrogation Agreement Service System for property claims (SOPR_M) – in November 2018 most insurance companies operating in Poland signed new agreements pertaining to handling of subrogation claims:

  • Agreement on mutual recognition of subrogation claims in property insurance (up to PLN 1 million) and
  • Agreement on simplified procedure for mutual recognition of low-value subrogation claims in property insurance (claims from PLN 2 to 10 thousand).

In the above agreements the parties agreed that exchange of information on subrogations will take place through the SOPR_M application operating in the web technology. All operations in the system will be performed using a web browser.

Subrogation claims may be registered in the system in two ways:

  • manual data input, individually on a form, using the user interface;
  • through import of files saved in the xml format, individually or several claims in one file.

Similarly, subrogation claims may be received by users with the appropriate entitlements in the SOPR_M system, assigned to the insurance company receiving the given subrogation claim.

The application also comprises a number of useful functionalities, such as a browser, reporting module or control module supporting daily cooperation between insurance companies.

Practical launch of the use of the SOPR_M application took place and the first experience with the application was gathered in 2019.

Innovations in insurance

Innovations, digitalization and development of new technologies are processes that have been in progress for years in all the sectors of the economy. By rolling out many new solutions companies are gaining an ability to transform their strategy, business model and client, partner and employee experience. PZU grasps how new technologies are changing the insurance industry. In recent years, the PZU Group has been very active in implementing innovative solutions. Activities in this area are supported by the Innovation Laboratory – a unit created with a view to verifying the latest technological trends and testing new solutions across the organization. Modern solutions are being created both internally and in cooperation with the best start-up companies in the respective fields. Annually, 1,500-2,000 solutions are analyzed and 12-15 pilot projects are run. The projects executed with the support of the Innovation Laboratory have been awarded both in domestic and international competitions (in 2019, among others, Gazeta Ubezpieczeniowa’s award for the Band of Life, Gazeta Bankowa’s award for AI in claims handling and PZU GO, award from Fintech and Insurance Awards for PZU GO, award from Corporate Innovation Awards for the Innovation Laboratory for its overall activity).

Innovative solutions are also collected internally using the Idea Generator, a portal to administer competitions and share inspirations among employees. Since November 2017, more than 400 ideas have been submitted under 6 competitions.

In November 2019, the second year passed since the time when the PZU Management Board adopted the Innovation Strategy developed by the Innovation Laboratory. Its purpose is to help pursue the PZU Group’s mission and strategy and maintain the high level of competitiveness in the new technological environment. The Strategy points to three specific areas in which PZU should be especially active while seeking innovation: the use of Big Data, digitalization and new interactions with clients. The designated areas ascribed the direction to be taken by the pilot projects organized in cooperation with the Innovation Laboratory, the relevant business departments and IT. In 2019 they made it possible to vet the ideas and prepare the implementations, i.e.:

  • PZU Cash - CASH is a new, innovative financial employee benefit platform, prepared by PZU in cooperation with Alior Bank and Bancovo. After less than eight months from the launch of the project, the platform is available to over 10 thousand PZU Group employees. In the next months the plan is to make the platform available to further organizations who want to offer to their employees the exceptional benefit in the form of easily available, low-interest loans. Each employer who joins CASH will have the possibility of offering the new type of benefit to their employees. Every employee who is bound to his/her employer through an employment contract will have the option of applying for a unique loan. The main advantages of CASH include:
    • attractively priced offer delivered by a reliable partner – Alior Bank,
    • the loan can be used for any purpose – from renovation of an apartment, through holiday, school materials to purchase of a car or satisfying any current need,
    • the process is fully online – from completion of the application to the signing of the agreement via an SMS, which is convenient for the user,
    • installments are repaid directly from the salary, thanks to which you do not have to remember about them.

The CASH platform may become a new line of business for PZU and a unique win-win solution for employers and borrowers.

  • Band of Lifean electronic wrist device, which monitors the basic vital parameters of patients and alerts medical personnel and the people around of any emergencies. The device monitors oxygen saturation of blood, pulse and temperature. If necessary it sends information on the location of the patient who needs help. It is also equipped with a fall detector which activates an alert if the patient falls down. Then the Band of Life diagnoses the risk of deterioration of life parameters it asks the user to contact the medical personnel to carry out a new check-up. This is a pioneering project which PZU introduces in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. Thanks to this technology also the medical personnel obtains support, to provide help to the ill faster and more effectively. For the first time in Poland such an advanced, modern technologies can be used using non-public funds, in medical emergency services and health care;

  • PZU Assistant – a few months after the premiere of the Polish version of the Google Assistant service, PZU implemented its own virtual advisor on the Assistant. Using the solution the users of Google Assistant may talk to PZU about insurance for the journey they plan. To start a conversation, you just need to say “OK Google, Talk to PZU”. Consequently, PZU is Poland’s first insurer to use the intelligent voice assistant to communicate with clients. Thanks to the actions implemented by PZU, in cooperation with one of Polish startups, the users of Google Assistant will be able to talk to PZU’s virtual consultant about travel insurance. The solution will enable them to instantly learn the preliminary offer and the price of the PZU Voyager insurance estimated on the basis of individually selected parameters. If the client is interested in the presented options, they will be contacted by a consultant from the PZU hotline to discuss the details. The Google Assistant is available both in Android and in iOS. This is one of the most popular voice interfaces in Poland. Using the implemented actions users may take advantage of the services of the virtual advisor in different areas, such as finance, eating out or education;

 

  • #challengePZU – as part of the MIT EF CEE program, supported by the Innovation Laboratory PZU, in cooperation with ChallengeRocket, launched a recruitment campaign under the name #challengePZU (www.pzu.challengerocket.com). PZU used globally innovative formula of an open challenge to recruit programmers (Java and SQL specialists). The methodology is based on the so-called Skill Challenges, which are thematically related to the scope of knowledge required on the given position. Candidates, before being invited to the next recruitment stage, have to demonstrate their real skills. Artificial intelligence analyzes the answers and the candidates’ code and assesses their skills, highlighting deficiencies, if any. Such actions are an element of the innovative strategy implemented in HR departments, based on constant recruitment of the best candidates and building a “Talent pool” dedicated to the organization. Within 2 months the challenge attracted 521 users to the brand, 73% of whom expressed interest in participation in the organization’s recruitment processes. Over two months the official site of the challenge was visited 12,605 times, and the information about the campaign had 144,758 hits. Efforts of this type are not only a very effective element of the employer branding strategy but also an effective way of reaching both active job seekers and the so-called passive candidates who do not respond to traditional job offers.

In 2019, PZU continued collaboration with two startup accelerators: MIT Enterprise Forum CEE and RBL_Start (Alior Bank’s accelerator). The former one looked for solutions related to 3 key areas specified in PZU’s Innovation Strategy (big data, digitization, new client interactions) while the latter one focused on data analysis, relations with clients, security and new distribution channels. The solutions put forward under these programs enjoyed interest from selected business areas – in both programs 9 pilot implementations were launched in the two programs.

LINK4 is the PZU Group company that has long been known for its innovative approach to motor insurance. On the Polish market the Company is running a number of innovative projects to distinguish the brand and position it among the top modern and digital insurers.

In 2019, the Robotic Process Automation area recorded fast growth. This solution imitates human work and is capable in simple tasks of fully assisting employees in their daily tasks. That means employees can do more interesting and more development-focused tasks offering greater business value to the company. At the end of 2019 the company had in place 36 business processes executed fully or largely by robots.

In 2019 the company organized the second edition of the conference dedicated to the topic of innovation, addressed to the company’s employees. The company’s culture of innovation is an extremely important aspect that forges the generation of new and interesting projects and ideas. Events like the LINK4Future conference stimulate creativity among employees and allow for noticing interesting solutions from other industries and markets. Like in last year’s conference, mainly external speakers were invited.

LINK4 has been putting emphasis on the competences of its employees for some time now. In 2019 the Analyst Academy was established to improve the analytical skills of the persons employed on three advancement levels. In the first semester there were approx. 50 participants. The Analyst Academy significantly supports the entire process of transformation of LINK4 into a Data Driven Company. The transformation into a Data Driven Company involves development of the technology and organization around data collection and processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. To this effect the Data and Advanced Analytics Center was established in LINK4. Its key tasks include: data processing and preparation, development of predictive models and data reporting and visualization. The project’s overriding objective is to generate value through comprehensive and advanced data analysis in the entire organization.

2019 was also a year of testing different technologies in the company. In areas such as claims, client service, sale or back office, technologies in, among others, the following areas were tested: picture analysis, text analysis, speech/voice analysis and automatic search of processes for robotization. The achieved results show the technology’s great potential, which will be reflected in the company’s implementation schedule for 2020.

The company employs telematic solutions to enhance safety on Polish roads. For every motor policy purchased, it offers a free NaviExpert navigation service to its clients whereby it analyzes a driver’s driving style. Another year of the functioning of the telematic program called “Cash Back” made it possible to improve analytical algorithms and the mechanics used to reward drivers. Link4 rewards people whose driving style it considers to be smooth and safe – the reward is in the form of Polish zloty accumulated on a client’s account. At the end of the policy term drivers can receive a payout of this amount or apply it to lower the premium for a new policy. 45.5 thousand drivers, who drove 108.5 million kilometers with the app regularly turned on, took part in the telematic promotion in 2019. At the end of December 2019 the second million of zlotys in bonuses generated in the LINK4 Cash Back program was exceeded – the winner obtained a refund of PLN 1,200.

Weather alerts, i.e. text messages with information about extreme weather conditions (such as gales, tornadoes, torrential rains, storms, snow storms), which LINK4 sends to clients who have real property insurance or motor insurance, are very popular among clients. In the event of expected sudden and severe weather phenomena clients receive a text message containing a warning and a website link where they can read about how to protect themselves against the adverse consequences of various weather events. In 2019 LINK4’s clients received over 425 thousand such alerts.

Areas to which alerts were most frequently directed in 2019 broken down by weather phenomena

To track on a continual basis trends, changes and new developments in innovation LINK4 constantly cooperates with trend watchers and the startup community. In 2019 a decision was made to continue the cooperation with the startup accelerator organized by MIT Enterprise Forum CEE.

In addition, in 2019 tests of two solutions important to clients and agency partners were launched. The first tool was a mobile app aiming to facilitate the agents’ work. It will make it possible, for example, to scan car documents and put offers for clients directly into the system which the agents use, and quickly send the clients’ documents to LINK4 by taking a picture of them and attaching them to the policy/offer directly in the app. The application will also make it possible to quickly carry out a car inspection, thanks to a module who will lead the agent step by step, prompt which pictures to take and then attach them to the policy. The second solution at the testing phase is a new calculator on the website which limits completion of fields to the minimum, e.g. through introduction of the possibility of quick scanning of a QR code or inputting the PESEL number, thanks to which the insurer will quickly verify the client in the Insurance Indemnity Fund database. 

The PZU Group has the potential of creating innovations also for the industry. The activities in this respect are conducted under the PZU LAB brand. The Company has been consistently executing the Group’s strategy, delivering innovative solutions and supporting corporate clients in optimizing risk in their business. 

PZU LAB engineers cooperate with clients at all stages of the All’s operations and offer a broad range of solutions and consulting and training services and services based on innovative technologies, custom-made to the enterprise’s individual needs. The Company supports clients in the area of safe enterprise management, reduction of financial losses associated with contingencies and stoppages, and building the reputation of a trusted partner in the local and international market.

From the beginning of the company’s operations, PZU LAB experts have helped over 200 clients to mitigate risks associated with their business, implementing, among others, such projects as self-learning company, anti-drone, artificial intelligence and enterprise safety tool (ESTools).

The ESTools system, developed by PZU LAB together with its technological partner F@BE (FABE Safety Factory) under an acceleration program, serves to increase and maintain safety in industrial plants using modern technical measures and organization management methods. The system supports ongoing control of insurance audit orders.

In 2019, as part of PZU’s prevention fund, PZU LAB launched the RyzykoPro program thanks to which approx. 50 Polish businesses will be equipped with the ESTools system free of charge. Businesses, in addition to the technological solutions enhancing the safety of their operations, will receive the support of PZU LAB’s risk engineers in the daily conduct of their operations.

Artificial intelligence solutions implemented by PZU LAB used for failure prediction are another example of risk management innovation. They make it possible to detect irregularities in the operation of machines, going back as much as tens of hours earlier than the existing systems. This has paramount importance especially for complicated industrial installations (such as, for example, turbines) because it makes it possible to avoid damages and losses in the range of tens of millions of zlotys.

PZU LAB has highly qualified engineering staff in the area of thermovisual measurements, holding the international ITC Level 1 (Infrared Training Center) certificate. Thermovisual measurements are performed by practitioner engineers with established theoretical background in infrared measurement techniques. PZU LAB engineers also have industry-specific expertise regarding operation and measurement of power facilities and mechanical systems. Based on the audit, the client receives a thermovisual report constituting a tool for managing risk in the enterprise. PZU LAB conducts training regarding thermovisual measurements for clients and business partners, increasing the competences of the safety services in the daily safety management in the enterprise.

PZU LAB cooperates with university centers, state institutions and engineering offices within the framework of partner groups and research councils.

One of PZU LAB’s initiatives is a study program entitled “Risk management in the enterprise in the insurance aspect” launched in September 2018 together with the Business School of the Warsaw University of Technology. During studies, risk managers in a business, agents, brokers and students have an opportunity to absorb a huge amount of practical knowledge on risk management, the role of insurance and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies. Lectures and case studies are presented by outstanding professionals combining theory with practice, who on a daily basis work on the point of contact of the world science, business, institutions and engineering offices. During the classes, also PZU LAB experts share their expertise on risk assessment and optimization in industry. In 2019, PZU LAB made a decision on continuation of the studies in the extended two-semester formula with a new academic partner - Kozminski University in Warsaw.

PZU LAB also cooperates with NASK SA on improvement of security of the Polish industry’s IT infrastructure. Clients receive not only support in enterprise risk management and adaptation of the security levels to the requirements of insurance and financial institutions in Poland and abroad, but also comprehensive technological support in designing and implementing state-of-the-art technological solutions in the area of IT/OT system cybersecurity. PZU LAB and NASK SA have developed a proprietary program of 7 steps allowing for implementation of the requirements following from the Act on the National Cybersecurity System.

PZU LAB continues the initiative of sharing knowledge and promoting “best practices” with industrial clients in cooperation with the institutions responsible for security and with academic partners, organizing regular security forums for the maritime, power and timber industries. In 2019 the total number of participants in the events organized by PZU LAB exceeded 500.

PZU LAB takes part in the acceleration program – Poland Prize, financed by PARP, aimed at putting together young international technological companies with the demand of big corporations for new technology innovations in solutions for business. As a result of the work on the project and acceleration of one of the startups, in November 2019, a company under the name 3dvRisk was established, which on PZU LAB’s order, created Poland’s first prevention portal. 3DVRisk Sp. z o.o. prepares realistic 3D animations presenting loss events from the initial cause to the final effect. The aim of the animation is to show the causes of loss events in order to avoid similar events in the future. The animation is a training element for the company’s employees. After watching it the employee takes a test on the knowledge of safety rules associated with the presented event. The animations are aimed at attracting attention to the errors that can be made in the production process.

PZU LAB has started work on the certification of Polish industry. The certification model follows from the needs of enterprises conducting activity in Poland and wanting to compete on international markets. The objective of the certification is to increase the trust of domestic and international partners in the enterprises certified by PZU LAB, in particular in the safety of their processes and thus reliability of the products and services supply chain. The enterprise safety certification model is a unique solution in the European market.

PZU LAB, together with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, has undertaken an initiative involving the launch of a pilot service of the Innovation Transfer Center. The purpose of the Innovation Transfer Center’s pilot is to better utilize the intellectual and technical potential, development and transfer of technologically advanced solutions to the economy, development of Poland’s innovations ecosystem, and development of Polish economy based on technologically advanced and eco-efficient solutions. In addition, a tool will be developed for support, development and scaling of the developed solutions, thus generating profit through increasing the market value of the implemented solutions.

Investment and pension products

The PZU Group’s insurance offer in Poland is complemented by an extensive range of investment products - open and closed-end mutual fund products and pension products - open-end pension fund, individual retirement security accounts with a voluntary pension fund, employee pension plans (PPE), individual retirement accounts (IKE), individual retirement security accounts (IKZE), and Employee Capital Schemes (PPK).

The Group offers investment solutions customized to the needs of all types of investors. In October 2018 the inPZU Internet platform was launched. It enables clients to invest on their own in passive funds, a new innovation on the Polish market. Currently the platform is available also on tablets and smartphones. It supports comparison of funds, definition of investment objectives and their personalization. It makes it possible to instantly search funds and ready model portfolios as well as to pay for orders online. This is an attractive tool both for advanced and beginner investors who are just starting their adventure with investments. Thanks to the cooperation with Goldman Sachs Asset Management initiated in 2019, in January 2020 it was possible to launch two new passive feeder funds: inPZU Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Americal Large Cap Equity and inPZU Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Emerging Markets Equity. Funds of this type are aimed at achieving a better risk profile and return on investment in the entire investment cycle compared to traditional ETF funds based on the index level and weighted by the market capitalization of the companies. In addition TFI PZU has launched a subfund inPZU Akcje CEEplus, created in cooperation with the Warsaw Stock Exchange and based on the WSE CEEplus index, comprising over 100 of the biggest and the most liquid companies from Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary.