Innovation does not always have to start with a big bang. It can start simple. We all know that doing anything in insurance across 50 states is often a long, complex and expensive process, but it is possible to begin with an idea around a new model, product, channel and/or line of business. Decide on which state(s) to start with, and then run with it. What a great way to launch and experience innovation.

This past year we have seen new distribution models springing up on both coasts: auto in California and life in Massachusetts. Let your imagination take over and you can envision innovation spreading across our industry … across every state in our nation … and beyond.

We have two great examples of East Coast and West Coast success stories. The West Coast example is Google Compare. Google is essentially acting as a partner for insurers and helping them become more customer-centric by taking distribution capabilities to where the customers are, on the platforms that customers are using. With a history of being very accurate at predicting what customers want, Google is bringing that strength to the insurance industry. Google Compare started with personal auto, for the state of California, and with only a few insurers, all with the goal of adding more states, more lines, and more insurer partners.

The East Coast reference to innovation in Massachusetts involves Haven Life. Haven Life is offering a totally online customer-service experience for buying term life insurance. In addition to instantly quoting, Haven Life offers information and tools that help take the complexity and the complications out of the process of buying life insurance and making it a much quicker process and simpler decision for the customer.

The two East/West examples cited in this article demonstrate how creative thinking and novel approaches are delivering new profitable and productive business models that will reshape tomorrow by starting simple.

At SMA, we regularly track solution investment trends and the progress of maturing and emerging technology. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see or hear about something exciting and inventive taking place in our industry. That wouldn’t have been true five years ago. This is a critical time for our industry – a time of great opportunities. It is a period when the possibilities are endless thanks to a formidable combination of technology capabilities and changing customer expectations and behaviors.

There will be more news at the SMA Summit in September – stories about how insurers are imagining, adapting, and innovating to become a Next-Gen Insurer. Stay tuned!

This blog entry has been republished with permission.

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The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

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