Entries open for the 2019 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards.

The annual Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards have proved to be a valuable catalyst for innovation in the insurance industry.

The 2019 awards are likely to showcase a host of inspiring innovations from many of the most progressive companies in the insurance industry. Entries for the awards are now open and will close in April. I’m looking forward to seeing how far-sighted insurers and smart insurtech firms are applying digital technologies to deliver new products and services, break into untapped markets and improve business performance.

More than 230 organizations from 45 countries submitted their insurance innovations for judging in this year’s competition. Japan’s Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance won the top accolade and was declared the 2018 Global Innovator.

Since the awards began in 2016, close to 700 innovations have been submitted for review by the competition’s judges. Participants in the awards range from prominent multinational carriers, such as 2018 category finalists Allianz, AXA and Manulife , to a host of regional and local insurers as well as up-and-coming insurtech start-ups.

Reviewing the entries to the awards over the past few years, it’s clear that insurance providers are increasingly applying digital technology to transform their core businesses. They’re pivoting from many traditional practices and systems towards an array of innovative business models. Many progressive insurers are moving closer to becoming what we call “living businesses”. They’re weaving themselves into their customers’ day-to-day lives, providing on-demand services, creating new markets and increasing their focus on real-time risk management. Powerful technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, together with expansive digital ecosystems, are at the heart of many of their innovations.

To better reflect the major shifts taking place within the global insurance industry, we’ve modified the categories for the 2019 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards. These are the seven categories:

Global Innovator:

The most innovative insurer. The winner is the organization whose corporate vision commits it successfully to continuous innovation and transformation, to the development and leadership of a broad ecosystem of partners extending beyond insurance, and to the exploitation of emerging technologies that improve the experience of its customers and the performance of its business.

Core Insurance Transformation:

Significant enhancement of the underwriting, claims or other processes, through improved automation, predictive/behavioral models, artificial intelligence or other advances, to support price optimization, fraud prevention, efficiency, personalization or enhanced agility.

Customer Experience:

Innovations that significantly enhance the way companies engage with customers. These new approaches create value through, for example, seamless and personalized experiences across physical and/or digital channels, new customer management models, artificial-intelligence-driven advice, and innovative management of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Connected Insurance & Ecosystems:

Innovative practices that give rise to new business models and scalable end-to-end value propositions that capitalize on the power of partnerships, platforms and the Internet of Things. Innovations, diversification opportunities and ecosystems may reach beyond the traditional boundaries of insurance, and may be submitted by incumbents, specialized players and other new competitors.

Insurtech:

The creation and/or application of innovative technology that substantially enhances the customer experience and/or develops new sources of value for insurers. This category is reserved for insurance start-ups and spin-offs, and technology firms targeting the insurance industry. Innovations must be stage-one funded, have a market release proposition, and/or have completed a successful market proof of concept.

Product & Service innovation:

Innovations that significantly enhance, extend or replace the traditional offer, creating new profit pools by serving new customer segments or existing segments in new ways, and entering or creating new markets typically beyond the reach of insurance players.

Workforce Transformation:

Innovations that successfully bring together people, culture, leadership, organization and technology, enabling the insurer to realize the full potential of the human and machine workplace.

The winners of the 2019 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards will be announced at a function in Amsterdam on 24 June next year.

The awards provide companies in the insurance industry with a great opportunity to promote their innovations and position themselves at the forefront the digital transformation. I recommend that you consider entering the 2019 Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards and I look forward to seeing the creative new products, solutions and initiatives that are set to shape our industry in the future.

To find out more about the Efma–Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards, or to submit your innovation, visit https://www.efma.com/innovationininsurance/.

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