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September 18 2017 | Karen Furtado

Boston, Massachusetts, September 18, 2017 - Strategy Meets Action (SMA), a leading insurance strategic advisory firm, announced the winners of the SMA Innovation in Action Awards yesterday during the annual SMA Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston. The 2017 insurer winners for innovative initiatives are Grange InsuranceLiberty Mutual Insurance, and TALLiberty Mutual Insurance also received a company-wide award for their numerous innovation initiatives and outcomes. The solution provider winners are Intellect SEEC and TrueMotion.


"Our annual awards program gives SMA the opportunity to celebrate and recognize true innovation within the insurance industry. The speed and impact of change in insurance can be seen in more and more insurance companies,” said Karen Furtado, SMA Partner. “In the six years of the program, we have seen clear evidence of the incredible strides being made within our industry by insurers and solution providers alike. We congratulate all of the winners and participants on their successes in reinventing insurance for the 21st century!"

The insurers who received 2017 SMA Innovation in Action Awards for innovative initiatives, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Grange Insurance, for institutionalizing innovation through cultural change, regular events, and multiple channels. Their formal innovation practice elicits active participation across the enterprise, using an ideation platform for crowdsourcing innovative ideas, regularly scheduled hackathons, gamification, and communal discussion boards. All business and IT associates are incented to participate, backed by strong support from the senior leadership team. Some of the new ideas, like their skill for Amazon Alexa, are already in production and many others are in the development pipeline. Grange has also benefited from adapting their cultural mindset to structured, scientific experimentation and accepting failure as a key learning step toward successful innovation and creativity.
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance, for implementing cutting-edge analytics and emerging technologies in support of their Liberty Mutual Benefits carrier. Building the data structure from the ground up gave Liberty Mutual Benefits the opportunity to create a data-driven organization with a focus on speed to market and innovative thinking – in effect, an InsurTech within the larger Liberty Mutual structure. Liberty Mutual Benefits leverages the open-source analytics platform Hadoop, artificial intelligence, visual analytics, and machine learning to extract the greatest value from big data and store it in a data lake rather than a traditional data warehouse.
  • TAL, for their unique approach to customizable life insurance, designed by consumers through interactive online processing and education, without the help of a financial advisor. TAL CoverBuilder allows consumers to build their own personalized life insurance policy by adding or removing blocks of coverage. They can see how each choice they make affects their premium and benefits, and educate themselves about their life insurance options at the same time. As a result, they both understand and value the coverage that they put in place. This new product approach is tailored to the self-directed digital consumer.

The insurer who received a company-wide 2017 SMA Innovation in Action Award is:

  • Liberty Mutual Insurance, for creating a sustainable innovation model across the enterprise to successfully deliver transformational value to their operations and customers. Some of Liberty Mutual’s many creative initiatives include developing a digital, direct-to-consumer insurance product aimed at skiers and snowboarders, becoming one of the first insurers to develop multiple skills for Amazon Alexa that break new ground in how consumers interact with their insurance company, and implementing a number of next-generation telematics programs. Innovation at Liberty is not only happening within their innovation division, Solaria Labs, but throughout their business, with various external partnerships as well as investments through their strategic venture arm (Liberty Mutual Strategic Investments). Liberty Mutual is demonstrating how innovation as an organizational value can both drive competitive advantage and create new solutions for customers in the digital age.

The solution provider winners of 2017 SMA Innovation in Action Awards, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Intellect SEEC, for Intellect Risk Analyst, an AI-based risk discovery and assessment software for the commercial insurance industry. The solution combines advances in big data, AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis to create an underwriter’s virtual assistant. It aggregates data from over 1,800 structured and unstructured data sources to give underwriters and risk assessors the contextual risk information they need without repetitive manual searching. Underwriters can create rules to see relevant alerts, produce custom scores, and discover new underwriting and rating factors. Machine learning analyzes underwriting decisions and refines its data aggregation and analysis capabilities in response.
  • TrueMotion, for its TrueMotion smartphone usage-based insurance (UBI) product, which combines mobile technology, machine learning, and data science to help insurers better understand and mitigate risk, acquire more profitable customers, and increase customer loyalty. Their solution uses the sensors in a user’s smartphone to accurately identify drivers and track and score their behavior behind the wheel. TrueMotion’s mobile app includes patented technology to monitor distracted driving and provides actionable feedback to drivers on how to improve. TrueMotion’s analytics dashboards provide insurers with comprehensive data on driving activity, individual scores, and important insights regarding the risk of their overall customer pool.

Additional information about the 2017 winners and the awards program can be found at www.strategymeetsaction.com/awards.