When it comes to innovation in the insurance industry, Ace Private Risk Services, Work at Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE) and FirstBest Systems top the list, according to a competition that identified companies that successfully implemented new underwriting, distribution or technology solutions.
MarketScout, in concert with Microsoft and The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, completed an analysis of the 11 finalists selected for the 2010 Entrepreneurial Insurance Awards. Participants in the Entrepreneurial Insurance Awards competition included admitted insurance companies, excess and surplus lines companies, retail agents, brokers, service providers, technology firms, software developers, as well as individuals. Three categories evaluated included: underwriting, distribution and technology.
The 2010 Entrepreneurial Insurance Awards winners in each of the three categories are:
- Underwriting: Ace Private Risk Services, Water Damage Analysis and Prevention, for a new product to help mitigate water penetration and water claims in high net worth properties.
- Distrubition: WAHVE, Work at Home Vintage Employees, for its network that provides agencies and carriers with the opportunity to hire skilled insurance retirees who want to supplement their retirement income by working part-time from home.
- Technology: FirstBest Systems, AppReader, for its application that converts existing ACORD applications into XML compatible formats, enabling quoting, binding and issuing policies in a single transmittal.
The winners were chosen from 11 finalists announced in September:
- Underwriting — ACE Private Risk Services for Water Damage Analysis and Prevention; Ironshore for Healthcare Liability; and Lexington Insurance Co. for LexPlorations.
- Distribution — Marsh USA for MarketConnect v2; Wells Fargo Insurance Services for CyberSure; and WAHVE for Work at Home Vintage Employees.
- Technology — Allied World for i-bind; Combined Group/Brown & Brown for Quote Express; FirstBest Systems, Inc. for AppReader; and Risk Metrics Corporation for Real Time Analytic and Geospatial Policy Mapping.
Each finalist made a presentation to the panel of judges who then ranked them based on factors including:
- Applicability to the insurance industry
- Impact on the broader marketplace
- Financial implications
- Unique features
- Judges’ discretion of other relevant factors
Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout, says deciding on winners for this year’s awards was challenging. Kerr chaired the panel of judges — the Insurance Innovation Alliance — who voted on the winners.
“The panel had some very difficult decisions to make because all of the finalists had exceptional presentations outlining unique, innovative concepts,” Kerr said. “Any one of the finalists would have been a good selection.”
Kerr says the time is right for the insurance industry to step up and become more creative in product development, technological solutions and distribution concepts. “Clearly, the old line insurance world is changing and those companies focusing on innovation will gain market share,” he says.
MarketScout has formed the Insurance Innovation Alliance to promote creativity in the insurance industry. Progressive underwriting, technology and distribution companies participate in the Innovation Alliance to support creativity and innovation in the insurance industry. The Innovation Alliance members also help format and guide the 2011 Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium, select finalists and ultimate winners of the 2011 Entrepreneurial Awards and generally support companies with innovations in insurance. Membership in the Innovation Alliance is by invitation only. Current members include founding member MarketScout, and additional members Microsoft, The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, Allied World, Ironshore and Lloyds of London.
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