Enterprising Developments

How Chubb's IT Unit Initiated Innovation

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, June 6, 2013

Every insurance organization likely has enlightened individuals who have new ideas on how to build new markets. And technology is paving the way to finally capture this hidden knowledge.

In a new article in MIT Sloan Management Review, Michael Fitzgerald (contributing editor to SMR, not to be confused with Celent's Michael Fitzgerald) spoke to Chubb's innovation team about what it takes to turn a huge specialty insurer around and make it more responsive to changing customer demands.

A few years ago, rather than managing along with dictates from its New York headquarters, Chubb embarked on an effort to spark innovation among its regional and branch offices. The insurer, which underwrites risk in niche markets such as clean tech, life sciences and medical devices, realized it needed to move faster with innovations in its product offerings if it was going to keep up.

Enter IT.

As Fitzgerald reports, Chubb's IT department took the reigns of the project and built a social business platform to connect people and ideas. The social platform also is deployed to support internal innovation events, which bring together up to 10,000 people, including independent brokers and agents.

“We’ve discovered that the best ideas, or idea fragments, come from the people closest to the customer and broker, usually inversely related to title,” Gerry Myers, VP of global innovation for Chubb, is quoted as saying. “We’re finding that sales representatives or office clerks are probably in the best position to know where the pain points are of people you’re trying to sell policies to.”

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (1)

Joe,

Completely agree having innovation led by field personnel produces the better result. We've written extensively on how to structure and execute innovation in our blog,

http://growroe.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/6-real-world-tips-insurance-companies-can-use-for-successful-innovation/

Interesting article, thanks.

Posted by: Richard E | June 7, 2013 10:36 AM

Report this Comment

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Boosting Performance with Integrated Underwriting Tools

A unified, comprehensive platform can help underwriters perform their jobs more efficiently — and profitably.

Apple's Way: Succeeding in the Enterprise Without Even Trying - Part 3

Today's data centers are doing far more with much smaller footprints.

Apply Mindfulness to Leadership

Managers can benefit from applying this theory both to their career aspirations as well as to interactions and expectations of staff.

Opinion: Halbig Decision Creates New Level of Uncertainty for Obamacare

Time will tell if the Halbig decision remains viable. But in the meantime, a new level of uncertainty has been injected into the process.

CIOs: "We Don't Have Enough People to Run Our Mainframes"

Insurers will be competing with other industries for both legacy and “new IT" talent.

4 Ways to Keep Insurance Data Quality Healthy

Continually building trust and credibility in the data is the key to a successful data warehouse.

Advertisement

Advertisement