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Risk in Context Podcast: How technology is transforming construction and underwriting processes

The construction industry is evolving at a fast pace. Several organizations are using innovative technology, pioneering methods, and new materials to respond to the challenges they’re facing.
Architect and construction workers

The construction industry is evolving at a fast pace. Several organisations are using innovative technology, pioneering methods, and new materials to respond to the challenges they’re facing, such as resource constraints, safety improvements, and becoming more efficient during the building process and beyond. New technologies and processes are also providing the industry with important data that helps identify risks and enables businesses to take preemptive action to address them.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Richard Gurney, the Global Head of Construction within Marsh Specialty, speaks with Cheri Hanes, Head of Construction Innovation and Sustainability at AXA XL, and Avi Khanna, Construction Innovation and Operational Excellence Leader for Marsh US. They discuss how groundbreaking technologies — such as connected devices, machines, and sensors — can help construction sites become safer and more efficient, and explore the various procurement and adoption factors that need to be considered. They also discuss how the data from new technologies can help underwriters price risk.

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Key takeaways

Technology innovations can aid preemptive risk mitigation

Groundbreaking technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), can help building owners and contractors take more intelligent and predictive decisions that can lead to safer and more efficient construction sites.

Underwriters can benefit from tech-driven data

Technologies and the data they collect can provide underwriters with more and better quality information that allows them to gain a clearer understanding of the risk that is being insured. This can both help with pricing coverage and creating new products and services.

Advances require dialogue among stakeholders

As more new technologies are implemented, it is important for the construction industry and insurers to take a collaborative approach and engage in a balanced dialogue around the risks and opportunities they present. 

About our speakers

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Richard Gurney

Global Head of Construction, Marsh Specialty

  • United Kingdom

Richard Gurney is the global head of construction and is responsible for developing overall strategy and service delivery on a global basis. Based in Marsh’s London office, he has extensive experience working with the construction industry and has assisted multinational clients and many of the world’s largest projects.

Cheri Hanes

Cheri Hanes

Head of Construction Innovation and Sustainability North American Construction, AXA XL

  • United States

As Head of Construction Innovation and Sustainability at AXA XL, Cheri Hanes provides strategic leadership and direction in sustainable construction and innovation via the implementation of processes, technology, unique insurance solutions, and enhanced customer service initiatives across all construction lines of business. With more than 30 years of industry experience, she is dedicated to supporting AXA XL’s clients’ innovation efforts, sustainability, and technological maturity, which improve both individual enterprises and the industry as a whole. She is committed to developing innovative insurance solutions to support sustainably focused, technology-forward, innovative companies.

Avi Khanna

Avi Khanna

Construction Innovation and Operational Excellence Leader, Marsh U.S

  • United States

Avi Khanna is the Construction Innovation and Operational Excellence Leader for Marsh Construction in the US and functions as a client executive out of the Boston office. In this role, he works closely with colleagues from across the US and around the world and is responsible for crafting and executing on operational initiatives for the US Construction Practice. He also creates innovative approaches to support clients and coordinates the delivery of all Marsh resources to his clients, supervises the client team, develops marketplace strategies, and crafts novel solutions and approaches for insurance risks. 

Our people

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Maarten van Haaps

Head of Construction, Marsh Specialty

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Donald Gardner

Head of Construction, Marsh Specialty, New Zealand

Related insights

This publication is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy. Marsh shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting, or legal matters are based solely on our experience as insurance brokers and risk consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax, or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modelling, analytics, or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty, and any analysis could be materially affected if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information, or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. LCPA 23/486