bigstock-Medals-award--29532590-top-rankAllianz, AXA and USAA are among the winners of the first annual Innovation in Insurance awards.

The program, jointly launched by Efma and Accenture, seeks to reward and foster innovation in the industry and recognizes the most innovative insurance initiatives and projects around the world, with nominations in multiple categories. (Efma is a Paris-based association of 3,300 retail financial services companies in more than 130 countries.)

AXA Group (France) took home the Global Innovator of the Year award.

The insurer, in announcing its win, noted that it fosters innovation through Start-In, its internal crowd-sourced innovation and entrepreneurship initiative that allows employees to submit business ideas. AXA Labs detects emerging digital trends and fosters strategic partnerships with global digital leaders.

Also, the company’s Kamet InsurTech incubator is dedicated to conceptualizing, launching and promoting disruptive services for insurance clients, and the AXA Strategic Ventures venture capital fund is aimed at fostering insurance innovation and improving customer experience. The Data Innovation Lab is a center of expertise for big data technologies and the group’s research and development projects.

AXA’s innovative digital insurance model includes the Health Keeper health and well-being platform, which provides access to pay-as-you-go medical and wellness services for community members.

There’s also RUOK, a digital service, generated through AXA’s Start-In program, which helps users to detect an elderly relative is lost or has a long period of inactivity, as well as showcasing and explaining trustworthy health and well-being data. In addition, it provides a user-friendly platform for all family members to communicate and share life events.

Second place in this category went to USAA (USA), while Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. (Japan) took third place.

Allianz (France) won the Claims Management award for its “Your expert is in the sky” claims solution, which enables speed, simplicity and reactivity in assessing claims by using drones to examine damage to large buildings.

Second place in this category went to Bradesco Seguros (Brazil) for its “Operation Disaster” solution, while Zurich (Spain) took third place with its “Proactive Claims Management for customers by Digital Channel” solution.

USAA (USA) won the Digital & Omni-channel Distribution award for its “Digital Virtual Assistant,” which leverages web and mobile channels to allow more members to satisfy their needs without the assistance of a representative.

bigstock-Businessman-awarded-with-star--27415880-top-rank-trophySecond place went to Haven (USA) for its Entirely Online Purchasing Process for Term Life Insurance. First National Bank (South Africa) took third place with its Digitalizing Funeral Insurance project.

Other categories and the respective winners include:

  • Customer Experience & Engagement

MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings (Japan) won the Customer Experience & Engagement award for its “dramatic improvement of contact center operations using Watson, which enables high-quality responses to increasing customer needs and efficient contact center operations.” The system leverages Watson Explorer, Work Force Management System and Oracle Service Cloud.

Also in the spotlight were Pacifica (France), which took second place in the category with its e-depann’ service, and Desjardins (Canada), which was awarded third place with its Ajusto 100 percent Mobile Telematics app.:

  • Best Disruptive Product or Service

Europ Assistance Group (France), a Generali subsidiary, won the Best Disruptive Product or Service award for its “Connect et Moi” solution, which leverages IoT capacities to link a behavioral algorithm with an emergency human call center to allow elderly people to live at home securely.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. (Japan) took second place with its Auto Insurance for autonomous vehicle public road experiment. Third place went to Telenor (India) for its Telenor Suraksha (Free Life Insurance) product.

All submitted innovation case studies are stored on a portal, forming the first-of-its-kind global insurance innovation repository, which is accessible to all insurers.

The winners, announced at a recent award ceremony in Milan, were selected based on votes from a combination of a panel of judges comprised exclusively of senior executives from the insurance industry and online votes from Efma members.

More than 149 institutions from 38 countries submitted 225 innovations within five categories: Customer Experience & Engagement; Claims Management; Digital & Omni-channel Distribution; Best Disruptive Product or Service; and Global Insurance Innovator.

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.