Modernizing Reinsurance Operations: How Insurers can Achieve Reinsurance Efficiency and Effectiveness

  • By Christopher Makokha
  • May 24, 2022

Reinsurance and risk transfer play a critical strategic role in ensuring the success and stability of an insurer especially where solvency and capital adequacy are concerned. Unfortunately, reinsurance management tends to be one of the most neglected parts of an insurer’s operations relegated to manual processes while the rest of the organization gets modernized.

In Africa, in particular, many insurers have yet to invest in modernizing their reinsurance management processes. Most are still administering reinsurance contracts manually, using outdated tools like excel spreadsheets and access databases to support their reinsurance operations.

This has resulted in some of the key challenges we are seeing insurers experiencing including long-turnaround times, claims and financial leakage, reporting and regulatory compliance issues and poor insights and decision-making.


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The market is also shifting making it increasingly difficult if not impossible and expensive for insurers to continue supporting their reinsurance operations through manual process. Some of the changes we see in the area of reinsurance include: reinsurance contracts becoming more complex, new risks like cyber threats and climate change emerging and growing pressure from financial and industry regulators.

To survive and thrive through this onslaught of challenges and market changes and strengthen controls around their ceding business, leading African insurers are investing in modernizing their reinsurance programs.Modernization helps insurers address the 4 key trends around reinsurance management in the following ways.


Trend #1: Complex Reinsurance Contracts

Reinsurance treaties are becoming increasingly complex as insurers encounter new risks and adopt new ways of negotiating contracts. Leading insurers are implementing complex risk profiles and developing customized reinsurance contracts with risk transfer solutions tailored to specific risks and negotiated separately with reinsurers. Modernization enables these insurers to easily customize these contracts to accommodate complex rules and tailored coverage. Insurers can therefore quickly design and configure treaties and reinsurance products for use across the value chain – underwriting, claims and reinsurance.


Trend #2: Complex Risk Profiles

Insurers are now encountering emerging and developing risks (cyber threats, climate change etc) that create potentially new risk profiles and parameters. Profiling new risks is difficult due to lack of historical data, the uncertainty and potential of massive economic loss they present. Doing this manually will most likely lead to poor design of insurance programs and inability to accurately capture an insurer’s risk transfer needs. This will in turn lead to inadequate risk transfer (under- or non-insurance) which impacts negatively on financial performance.

To mitigate against this leading insurers are leveraging technology and data analytics to perform detailed risk analysis, understand financial impact and determine the limits for optimum risk transfer.


Trend #3: Regulatory Compliance Concerns

With the ever-growing list of regulatory regulations across multiple levels and jurisdictions, it is not easy for insurers to maintain compliance. This is especially so if relying on manual procedures to sift through huge volumes of paperwork and complicated workflows. Leading African insurers are using digital tools and platforms to assist them in adequately meet their regulatory obligations and strengthen their compliance around their reinsurance operations. Modern systems have inbuilt regulatory compliance tools and functionality that make it easy to generate such regulatory reports.


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Trend #4: Auditing and Reporting Pressures

An increase in reporting requirements for both internal and external use has placed greater pressure on the insurer’s reinsurance reporting process. Processing complex reporting requirements manually and through disparate systems is harder, time-consuming, prone to errors and strenuous on resources. Leading African insurers are therefore leveraging automation across their reporting function to simplify reinsurance reporting.

Through automation, insurers are able to do timely generation, verification and approval of the critical reports across all reinsurance contract types including risk profiles, claims profiles, outstanding and paid XOL claims reports, premium register/bordereaux and so much more. Insurers are also to integrate disparate systems enabling real-time and better access to accurate data for better insights and easier reporting to the management, the board and the regulators.



TurnQuest Insurance Suite offers comprehensive support for all reinsurance contract types including – treaty, facultative, proportional and non-proportional. The reinsurance management module automates end-to-end reinsurance processes including portfolio management, risk profiling, pool management, payments, accumulations and reports.

Within the reinsurance management system insurers can setup treaties per subclass during product configuration applicable during underwriting, claims, and reinsurance to avoid duplication of efforts. They can define parameters constituting excluded and/or referral risks and get notification for further investigation.

TurnQuest robust reporting engine facilitates the maintenance of a comprehensive audit trail and tracking of each transaction and activity. Real-time tracking, reporting and visualization helps facilitate the generation and sending of various other reports. Insurers are therefore able to customize and produce countless reports including; reinsurance bordereau report, regulatory reports, annual account, risk profile, statement of account per account (facultative inwards and facultative outwards) and per insurer and so much more.

TurnQuest reinsurance module directly integrates with the insurer’s document management and financial accounting systems for automatic updates for reinsurance payments and expenses. The Insurers can perform calculations of ceded premium, reserves and recoverable for various treaty agreements.

Through TurnQuest, insurers also get better visibility into their risk portfolios and risk profiles enabling them to better assess potential risk exposures, determine key risks and their financial impact, coverage limits and create client-specific risk profiles. Alerts, notifications and triggers are also available within the system including renewal advice notifications configured to be sent automatically at the expiry of facultative business.



Manual reinsurance management processing is tedious and cumbersome, and causes major issues around reconciliations, periodic audits and reporting. Inefficiencies also results in inadequate risk transfer which negatively impacts an insurers’ financial performance.

Supporting reinsurance arrangements is bound to get more difficult with the fast-paced business environment and the changing risk landscape. This is especially so for insurers relying on outdated systems and poor insights to make decisions thus encountering auditing, financial and regulatory issues.

TurnQuest Insurance Suite offers a fully integrated, end-to-end reinsurance workflow and activities management capabilities. The system covers all reinsurance activities and business processes enabling insurers to achieve lasting reinsurance management effectiveness and efficiency.

With optimum risk transfer operations, insurer can gain better control over their underwriting risks and capital adequacy and increase their business capacity.

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