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Defining the Horizon

Inventors pitching products sometimes head to the TV show Shark Tank, looking for support from celebrity investors. When digital or IoT creators have products that may benefit Chubb and its customers, they meet with Risk Engineering Services Digital Programs Officer Chris Hernandez.

“I look at emerging technology,” Hernandez said, “and try to figure out how to combine it with our engineering capabilities to provide new products or services to clients.”

If a product shows merit, Hernandez seeks a partner client to test the new technology, assisted by agents and risk engineers with client relationships.

“There aren’t many early adopters — it’s pretty expensive,” Hernandez said. “I look for clients with good relationships with Chubb. They’re taking the journey with us.”

The tests also put new technology into the hands of Chubb’s field employees sooner, helping them gain expertise. Examples include wearables, telematics and machine sensors that can detect water, humidity or vibrations.

“For example,” he said, “when you think about wearables, you think of steps and heart rate but not body movements in terms of ergonomics. I share with clients the possibilities of these technologies—looking at biomechanics and analyzing their employees’ movements for safety and how their employees are holding up. 

“Our clients become more cognizant and proactive about their safety culture, and better understand what’s out there and on the horizon.” 

A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic, Hernandez joined Chubb a decade ago. Before assuming his current role, Hernandez worked as a branch manager, leading a team of risk engineers in the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Richmond area.

Hernandez also assists Chubb in considering the legal ramifications of new technologies, as well as how the data is stored and used. 

“Digital is the future of insurance,” he said, “how we interact—whether it’s utilizing technologies for proof of insurance, reporting accidents or being able to assess damages using drones.

“At the same time, the tools allow us to apply a broader set of knowledge and insight, providing better services and analytics. It allows us to touch more people.”

Hernandez believes new technology will lead to a quicker pace, safer workplaces and higher client productivity—along with fewer losses for Chubb clients.

“And we’re just at the beginning of this,” he said. “When I went to Rensselaer, their slogan was, ‘Why not change the world?’ That stayed with me.

“Hopefully, this role gives me the opportunity to be a part of that.”

Lightning Round

First job: Working at the Cookie Corner

Best advice received: “Do it right or don’t do it at all.”

First car: 1994 Toyota Tercel

Guilty pleasure: YouTube

Favorite sport and team: Baseball and the New York Yankees

Best late-night snack food: Mocha almond fudge ice cream

TV show I can’t miss: Gold Rush on Discovery

Three for Dinner: Larry David, Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres.

a man holding a gun

Favorite book: The Count of Monte Cristo

Greatest achievement: My family, my wife Marisol and daughters Ayla and Juliet