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SMA Announces Winners of 2015 Innovation in Action Awards

Staff Writer | September 21, 2015

Strategy Meets Action announces the winners of the SMA Innovation in Action Awards during its annual SMA Summit in Boston. The 2015 winners in the insurer category are USAA, John Hancock, and Haven Life Insurance Agency. The winners in the solution provider category are Livegenic, Social Intelligence Corp, and Wallflower Labs, Inc.

"Our annual awards program gives SMA the opportunity to recognize truly innovative projects, solutions, and initiatives within the insurance industry. This year we received a remarkable number of impressive submissions from both insurers and solution providers—clear evidence of the significant and pervasive innovation happening throughout our industry," says Karen Furtado, SMA partner.

The SMA Innovation in Action Awards are presented each year to celebrate innovation in the insurance industry. SMA launched this award program to inspire, share, and recognize solutions that enable an insurance company to move beyond modernizing and optimizing to differentiate themselves through real innovation and transformation. The program spotlights both insurers and solution providers, recognizing completed transformational projects or services completed in the past year that deliver game-changing business capabilities and successful solutions that best leverage maturing and emerging technologies.

The insurer winners of 2015 SMA Innovation in Action Awards are: 

  • Haven Life Insurance Agency, which offers a solution for purchasing medically underwritten term life insurance online. Haven Life users can calculate their needs, then apply for and start coverage on the Haven Term policy in about 20 minutes. Its sophisticated underwriting algorithms leverage external data sources to render an instant decision on applications. By reinventing the traditional, four-to-six-week process of buying life insurance into an entirely online, 20-minute process, Haven Life has successfully changed and streamlined how life insurance policies are sold, underwritten, and administered.
  • The John Hancock Vitality Program, which offers a new approach to life insurance that rewards policyholders for the steps they take to promote their health and well-being. The program fosters a bond between policyholder and life insurer using interactive technologies like wearables and gamification. Activities including exercise and annual health screenings can be tracked via a mobile app, a dedicated website, or a free Fitbit to earn Vitality Points, which determine a member’s status for a broad range of rewards and premium savings. 
  • USAA, which is a pioneer in the use of drones in the insurance industry, particularly in P&C claims following natural disasters. In collaboration with the nonprofit Roboticists Without Borders, USAA deployed drones after the Oso, Wash. mudslides in 2014 to provide data and imagery to county officials to assist in rebuilding. USAA was also the first insurer to file a request with the FAA for permission to utilize fixed-wing drones for research and development.

SMA also released a compendium of case studies detailing the success stories of the winners and the other insurers that participated in the SMA Innovation in Action Awards program. This comprehensive report is available here.

The solution provider winners of 2015 SMA Innovation in Action Awards are:

  • Livegenic, which offers a patented, mobile, real-time video platform to help insurance organizations reduce claims handling costs and improve customer satisfaction. Livegenic connects a policyholder with a claims customer service representative through live video without disconnecting the ongoing phone call. Claims professionals can see what the customer sees while on the phone, enhancing first notice of loss, underwriting, field operations, and supplemental claims. 
  • Social Intelligence Corp, which offers a sophisticated scoring platform that leverages publicly available social media data and the Internet of Things for improved risk assessment. The solution helps insurers by aggregating data and offering access to new predictive, reliable, and less expensive data sources. Social Intelligence’s Social Media Risk Scoring provides another layer of risk assessment that insurers can utilize in real time across life and personal and commercial P&C lines of business at critical stages in the policy lifecycle, including point of sale, claims filing, first notice of loss, and renewals. 
  • Wallflower Labs, Inc., which offers a patent-pending solution to reduce the number of unattended cooking fires and associated claims. Wallflower’s Electric Range Smart Cord and Gas Range Smart Valve enable ranges and cooktops to remind homeowners that they are operating through smartphone push notifications and to allow for remote or automatic shutoff. Wallflower solutions can also provide insights into cooking behavior and trends by capturing information about household range/cooktop use to improve how insurers price their homeowners’ insurance products.

A collection of case studies of the solution providers' winning submissions as well as those from the other solution providers that participated in the SMA Awards program will be released next week.

Insurance company award winners were selected by the partners at SMA. Members of the SMA Innovation Advisory Board selected the solution provider award winners. 

Awards were presented at the annual SMA Summit, where attendees have the opportunity to examine how insurers are capitalizing on maturing and emerging technologies across all aspects of the insurance business. 

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