When Celent’s Michael Fitzgerald started asking carrier executives how important innovation was to their business strategies back in 2013, 30-40 percent would say it was “somewhat important” rather than critical.

Executive Summary

After years of discussing whether innovation is important in the insurance industry, carriers have moved past the "why" questions to explore "the how." Helping in these "Phase Two" efforts, Senior Analyst Michael Fitzgerald gathered some carrier innovation success stories and advice from successful industry innovators. Here, he introduces the theme of the issue and the companies he selected to profile, offering some advice of his own intended to assist all innovation practitioners.

In 2019, Fitzgerald, a senior analyst for Celent and author of an Innovation Outlook survey that the research firm publishes annually, no longer needs to ask the question.

“That’s behind us now. The debate about innovation being important for strategy execution is basically over,” he said. Most executives understand that having an effective innovation approach is essential, and the change in attitude is “mainly driven by the need to meet customer expectations,” he said.

“The question now is how. How is it best to do it? And what should the practitioners know about doing it?” The industry “is pretty much in Phase Two”—figuring out how to move their innovation strategies forward, he said.

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