Over the next few days, as you meet this year’s Women in Insurance Leadership winners, there’s one clear takeaway: Insurance innovation is happening across the business.

This year, we feature leaders of corporate claims and risk units, line of business heads, and technology executives — from diverse lines of business — all aiming to position their business to attract the next generation of policyholders.

Customer-centricity is a key theme running throughout all profiles, from Peggy McDonald’s recognition — and embrace — of the changing role of pensions in American business, to Sharon Ashton’s keen eye on the potential impact of driverless cars on Chubb’s commerical auto business.

Balancing aggressive growth with service demands is a crucial business issue for insurers, as Homesite Insurance’s Grace Hanson explains in talking about her company’s journey from aggressively acquiring customers to claims service excellence, and Aflac ’s Julia Davis relates through the story of how the company took on the challenge of paying claims within a day.

These exemplary executives also recognize that the insurance industry has a unique opportunity: To increase the innovative spirit and talent within the industry by positioning it as a leading destination for women who are looking to enter technology careers.

As AIG chief data office Heather Wilson says, “We want to make AIG a destination for women in data science and technology,” which she does by convening women in technology roles at the insurer’s offi s around the globe, and by bringing female tech students in for immersion programs.

She, and our other honorees, achieve excellence by wearing many hats. Let’s take ours off and salute them.

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