- More than 850 institutions have participated in the Innovation in Insurance Awards since 2016. The awards are free to enter.
- Find a step-by-step walkthrough of the submissions process with seven tips to help you create a winning submission.
- Learn more about the nomination and voting process, which is conducted by the Awards Committee, the worldwide Awards Jury and online voters.
The Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards is an annual, global competition that rewards the best new ideas and practices transforming the industry for the benefit of both insurers and their customers. Open to insurance, bancassurance, and insurtech organizations, the awards serve as a catalyst for innovation, helping to connect a worldwide network of leaders and disruptors. A rigorous, independent judging process determines the winners by their peers to ensure the awards’ ongoing credibility.
Innovation has grown to be a defining quality in the insurance industry, and a signifier of resilience in a global economic landscape characterised by change. Winning an Innovation in Insurance Award establishes your business as an industry leader. It’s, therefore, more important than ever to craft a compelling submission that clearly shows the originality, impact, and universality of an insurance organization’s innovation. This guide will walk through the submission process and judging criteria while offering tips to build a persuasive case for your innovative initiative.
What you’ll find in this guide:
About the Innovation in Insurance Awards
Accenture and Efma, a global non-profit organization that facilitates networking between decision-makers in banking and insurance, jointly launched the Innovation in Insurance Awards in 2016.
“Innovation is being shaped by customer preferences and needs. Everyone recognizes the dramatic changes in customer behavior in recent years, changes accelerated by the Covid crisis. Digital-first is the primary driver. Now, it is a matter of capitalizing on those fundamental shifts. In order to bring necessary and relevant solutions to these new customers, insurers must acknowledge the importance of collaboration, co-creation, platforms, both within the industry as well as with those from other sectors. Creative and innovative collaborations are something we are witnessing throughout the industry and will only continue to grow in importance.” – Jean Marc Pailhol, Efma chairman.
The initial awards received 224 submissions from 148 institutions in 37 countries. The most recent awards, in 2021, received nearly 460 submissions from 289 institutions in 55 countries. The 2021 awards took place virtually via an online awards ceremony on June 3, 2021.
Most are reserved for insurance and bancassurance organizations. In 2018, an insurtech category was introduced for technology companies with products aimed specifically at the insurance industry. Insurtechs may also jointly enter other categories with their insurance clients. The awards are open to all insurance organizations regardless of their Efma membership.
“The fact that we had a record number of submissions in a year marked by such significant disruption demonstrates clearly the importance of innovation to the insurance industry. Firms must reinvent themselves in order to survive and grow. And the key to any successful reinvention is innovation. That is why we look forward to yet another year of these successful awards with Accenture that recognize the firms that are taking the industry forward,” Pailhol adds.
The three phases of the awards
- Idea collection: Insurers, bancassurance and insurtech organizations are encouraged to identify and submit their most innovative initiatives. Submissions are free.
- Judging and voting: An Awards Committee shortlists the submissions through a rigorous and independent process. Following this, a jury of industry professionals deliberates and present the final nominees to online voters.
- Awards ceremony: The top three innovators in each category receive the awards during a dedicated event. Attending the awards ceremony is free, with many finding it an inspiring and educational snapshot of current industry trends. The Product & Service award category requires video pitches from nominees—a favorite among attendees. Watch videos from past Innovation in Insurance Awards events:
Why participate in the Innovation in Insurance Awards?
Innovation in Insurance Awards have participants from all over the world—55 countries in 2021—and winners have hailed from a diverse range of global innovators in Australia, Germany, Italy, the USA, Belgium, India and South Africa. The awards are an opportunity to position your company as a trailblazer in the insurance industry, gain global recognition, and promote your innovation while seeing what your peers are doing and network with leaders in the industry.
2021 winner quotes
“Winning the EFMA Innovation in Insurance Award has been a great success for all Generali people and the different entities that have been working on with passion to innovate our businesses. It generated great publicity for these initiatives, both internally and externally. Now we want to raise the bar for us to live up to the enhanced expectations: being innovative is a continuous process of challenging your beliefs and this is what Generali has been doing for 190 years.”
— S. Bison – Group Head of Business Development & Innovation and EFMA delegate
“We have been humbled by the many EFMA awards that the Generali Group won in 2021, given the great participation of leading institutions from all over the world: more than 400 applications from 55 countries! This means that the Generali innovation efforts, and more in general, our drive to become Lifetime Partner to our clients, have been appreciated by our peers, the advisors and the whole jury, and we are in the right direction to embrace and lead the challenges of our industry,”
— A. Di Rocco – Group Business Development & Partnerships Manager and EFMA co-delegate
Watch the highlights of the 2021 awards:
What kinds of innovations can be submitted?
To be eligible for the Innovation in Insurance Awards, initiatives must have been launched after January two years prior and be at least in the pilot stage. Awards categories evolve every year to match the changing insurance industry. In 2022, there will be seven submission categories:
- Global Innovator: The most innovative insurer. The winner is the organization whose corporate vision is fully committed to continuous innovation and transformation, to the development and leadership of a broad ecosystem of partners extending beyond insurance and to the strategic use of emerging technologies that improve the experience of its customers and the performance of its business. Winners must have submitted entries to at least three categories and been invited to submit to the Global Innovator category.
- Connected Ecosystems & Marketplaces: Innovative practices that give rise to new business models and scalable end-to-end value propositions that capitalize on the power of partnerships, platforms and the Internet of Things. Innovations, diversification opportunities and ecosystems may reach beyond the traditional boundaries of insurance and may be submitted by incumbents, specialized players and other new competitors.
- Insurtech: The creation and/or application of innovative technology that substantially enhances the customer experience and/or develops new sources of value for insurers. This category is reserved for insurance start-ups or spin-offs and technology firms targeting the insurance industry. Innovations must be stage-one funded, have a market release proposition and/or have completed a successful proof of concept in the market.
- Product and Service Innovation: Innovations that significantly enhance, extend or replace the traditional offer by creating new profit pools through serving new customer segments or existing segments in new ways and by entering or creating new markets typically beyond the reach of insurance players.
- Re-imagining the Customer Experience: Innovations that significantly enhance the way companies engage with customers. These new approaches create value through, for example, seamless and personalized experiences across physical and/or digital channels, new customer management models, artificial intelligence-driven advice, and innovative management of customer loyalty and satisfaction.
- Social, Sustainable & Responsible: Innovations that advance Insurance’s social purpose and its commitment to being a good corporate citizen and a true ally of its customers.
- Workforce Transformation: Innovations that successfully bring together people, culture, leadership, organization and technology, enabling the insurer to realize the full potential of the human and machine workplace.
How to enter the innovation in insurance awards
Organizations can enter the Innovation in Insurance Awards at no cost. All Efma financial institution members have full access to review all submissions, so please only include information in your submission that you are willing to disclose to the public.
The following will walk you through the submission form. First, you will need to create a free account. You can save your submission in draft at any time. Completing the form should take approximately 30 minutes if you have your content and attachments ready.
Get started by visiting the Submit an Innovation webpage.
Our innovation form comprises four parts: What, Why, How, Results.
- Give your innovation a unique and descriptive name. There is no word limit, but we recommend sticking to 10 words or less. Winning submission titles have included: AXA XL – Construction Ecosystem, Discovery – AI Quote, Generali – WelionAPP, HITS – bAlby: The AI-based Baby Cry Translator, Baloise – Drive Electric and Generali – We Share App
- For your Elevator Pitch, narrow your description to 10 words or less. Be catchy!
- Provide a brief summary of your innovation in less than 250 words. Your summary should cover the concept and objectives, reasons for innovating, competitive landscape, source/s of inspiration, departments involved and key results so far.
- Uniqueness: Define what makes the project unique, including innovative aspects, characteristics and differentiating factors. Specify whether your innovation represents an incremental or disruptive innovation and describe how it fits within your organization’s current positioning and business model.
- Select your category (review category descriptions above)
- Choose some keywords in the list that best fit your project.
- Provide your innovation launch date, relaunch date or date of your next project update
- Give us more info by selecting the key technologies utilized, your core target market, your innovation line of business, the primary value chain element, and which distribution channels you use.
The reason behind: Explain the key innovation drivers, such as a customer problem, an unsatisfied need or an opportunity in the market. This is the “why” for your project. You can add different reasons behind it.
- Provide some information on the timing of the project and investment made. Complete your submission with a high-resolution cover image, which enables your innovation to be spotlighted on the Innovation in Insurance Awards website. Additionally, you can attach more images, URLs, documents or videos to build out your submission. In 2021, Generali shared social media pages, brochures as well as links to its products pages. Baloise attached a Youtube video for its Drive Electric innovation.
- Describe one or several challenges faced to implement your project and tell us more on the current status of the project.
- Give us more info on the organizational structure supporting the initiative, including the number of people involved but also the departments and the external partners involved.
- Key contact. If you are not the main contact, please enter the name, job title and email of the person in the submitting company. We will need your information for any administrative or content matters related to your submission.
Describe the major results obtained or expected. Include both qualitative (e.g. customer satisfaction, other awards) and quantitative (e.g. reduced costs, increased revenue, customer acquisition) success metrics. You can select different kinds of results (cost savings, customer acquisition, productivity, benefits). When you’re ready, submit your innovation for the opportunity to be nominated and win an Innovation in Insurance Award.
Innovation of the month awards opportunity
Early entrants also may be selected for an Innovation of the Month Award, which fast-tracks organizations to the global awards shortlist.
Seven tips for a winning submission:
An innovation committee shortlists the best innovation in each category based on 3 criteria:
- Originality: the uniqueness of the idea in the marketplace and its potential as a gamechanger.
- Impact: the innovation’s capacity to generate a superior, long-term competitive edge and a significant return on investment.
- Universality: the innovation’s adaptability across different markets and countries.
Based on an analysis of winning submissions and best practices, here are seven tips to help you build a compelling case for your innovation.
- Clearly present the problem you needed to solve; show how you used technology or an innovative idea to solve that problem; and highlight the results with both qualitative and quantitative success metrics.
- Remember to directly address each judging criterion: originality, impact and universality. Mapping your key points to each criterion prior to writing your submission entries is a useful exercise.
- Proofread and edit your submission. While correct spelling and grammar are not criteria, a polished final submission will impress your peers, who have the final say regarding who wins.
- Visuals, such as images, videos or screenshots of an application, can make your submission more engaging. Gather your best supporting materials to add as attachments.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about your setbacks or challenges and how you overcame them through ideation and implementation. These stories spark inspiration.
- Keep your audience in mind: How can your innovation change the industry as a whole and impact your audience members? Your customers? Voters want to know why your innovation matters.
- Be specific, especially in your results. Use statistics and numbers to show growth or change.
How are the winners chosen?
Following the submission deadline, the Awards Committee reviews all the submissions and selects nine innovations from each category to become nominees. In the case of the Global Innovator category, the committee shortlists up to 12 applications.
Both Efma members and non-members vote for nominees online. Voters decide the top three entries for each category (except the Global Innovator). These votes make up 50 percent of the final scores (40 percent from Efma members and 10 percent from non-members) with the remaining 50 percent coming from Awards Jury members, comprising of senior insurance executives from around the world. The jury also selects the winning Global Innovators from the 12 shortlisted nominees. The top six Product and Service Innovation category nominees will present their innovations at the awards ceremony, where attendees will cast their votes in real-time.
Start preparing your Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards today. Download our infographic to use as a guide for building a winning submission.