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June 21 2016 | Karen Furtado

As the June 30th deadline approaches for the 2016 SMA Innovation in Action Award submissions, let’s take a look back at our insurer winners from 2015: Haven Life Insurance Agency, John Hancock, and USAA. Their innovative projects and initiatives have demonstrated how they are rethinking and reinventing the business of insurance and furthering their progress toward becoming a Next-Gen Insurer. Insurers that are considering submitting an application to the 2016 Innovation in Action Awards program can see from these examples what a winning business and technology project/initiative might look like.

The Next-Gen Insurer model is based on five foundational areas of transformation: customer, products and services, technology and data, business model, and innovative culture. (For more information on the Next-Gen Insurer model and its foundational areas, click here.) Insurers are taking creative approaches in all of these areas, and the 2015 winners are no exception. These three companies have tackled different foundational areas with their winning programs, but please note that the top-notch innovation on display in their submissions earned their awards, rather than how many foundational areas were impacted. Winners are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Next GenHaven Life Insurance Agency, LLC made a real leap forward for the entire insurance industry in the area of products and services by offering medically underwritten life insurance that can be purchased online. They simplified an arduous paper-based application process of 4-6 weeks to better meet the expectations of today’s customer. They were able to do this by leveraging technology and data – specifically, external data fed through sophisticated algorithms – to greatly reduce the amount of information that the customer has to provide to receive a quote. Their partnership with MassMutual gives Haven Life access to the resources of a large organization while retaining the innovative culture that sparked their transformative approach to selling, underwriting, and administering life insurance.
  • The John Hancock Vitality Program reimagined the relationship between an insurer and its policyholders, creating a truly unique customer experience in the traditionally low-touch world of life insurance. The program rewards policyholders for healthy behavior such as exercising and getting annual physicals. These activities can be tracked through wearables technology and data via a free Fitbit or logged online through a computer or a mobile app. John Hancock uses this data in an online rewards program that offers premium savings, among other rewards, changing the business model for this life insurance product. In addition to rewards, policyholders can receive individualized encouragement toward further healthy behavior, a value-added service that represents a real advance in life insurance products and services.
  • USAA pioneered the use of drones in the insurance industry, showing what this technology and data can do for insurers, especially in P&C claims. After mudslides hit Oso, Washington, USAA’s deployment of drones for damage assessment established a new and vital service for policyholders in post-disaster situations, pushing the envelope in the foundational area of products and services.

The real progress that these three insurers are making toward becoming Next-Gen Insurers is evident in the effects these groundbreaking initiatives have on the five Next-Gen Insurer foundational areas. They are also fantastic examples of how thoughtful approaches to innovation can make insurers stand out from the crowd in the industry.

2016 Awards LogoThis is the fifth year of our SMA Innovation in Action Awards program, which honors insurers and solution providers who are putting innovation into action with creative projects, initiatives, technologies, or solutions that further insurers’ progress toward the goal of becoming Next-Gen Insurers. We encourage you to apply for the SMA Innovation in Action Insurer Award or the Solution Provider Award to share your successful innovations!

Submissions are due by June 30, 2016. A full program description, FAQs, and links to the applications for both awards can all be found on the SMA website.

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To learn more, please contact:
Karen Furtado
Strategy Meets Action, a ReSource Pro company