Innovation in insurance: It starts with culture

By Catherine Loftus / Head of Growth Marketing

By its very nature, the insurance industry is risk-averse. This has meant it has been traditionally slow to adopt new innovation, resulting in legacy systems, inefficient processes and red tape. However, in recent years we have started to see a turning point. The need for innovation has become more and more evident, and with it, the understanding that this starts from within the organisation’s company culture.

With the explosion of price comparison technology, a proliferation of competing products, and increasing customer expectations, insurers who want to keep pace with the changing market have realised they must put innovation at the forefront of their thinking.

Plus, with significant opportunities emerging from the recent growth in AI, insurers must ensure they are set up for success in order to benefit from the huge potential of this technology.

Further reading: Thinking about introducing AI to your insurance product? Don’t miss our AI Adoption Playbook

What is company culture?

Put simply, company culture is how things are done at the organisation, from behaviours and values, to systems and processes. Particularly for larger, more established insurance organisations, driving cultural change may feel daunting, but it is possible…and increasingly, essential. 

Creating a culture of innovation will require a shift towards creativity, agile working, and a willingness to experiment. That’s no mean feat, within the insurance industry. But while the need to meet compliance and regulatory requirements may feel like a blocker, achieving transformation is possible by starting with a simple evaluation.

Inspired by our founders’ combined 100+ years of experience within the insurance industry, along with insights from our own cultural manifesto called The Nuon Way, below are three areas to begin your evaluation. 

Area 1: Fostering a culture of learning & an open mindset

Do your team members feel they have the freedom to fail? That no idea is a bad one? Creating an environment where staff can share ideas and speak up with the confidence their input will be valued is an important, but bold step. At Nuon AI, we believe that people work best when they are free to make decisions, make mistakes, and learn. 

To support this, continuous learning and development is important. This can require some budget allocation in order to provide opportunities for employees to attend conferences, workshops, and other events that expose them to new ideas and technologies. 

But, if that’s not possible at the moment, simply giving team members the freedom to spend even just an hour a week reading, researching, or experimenting is a great place to start. Open up channels of communication dedicated to the sharing of ideas, articles or insights – whether you’re using Slack, Google Chat or Microsoft Teams, many workplace platforms will make this kind of information sharing easy. 

Area 2: Harnessing knowledge by working with technology partners

Is there the potential to bring in third-party experts or partners to assist with your journey? Collaborating with agile technology providers and specialists can enable you to deliver new innovations without disrupting business-as-usual tasks and core projects. 

Plus, your team could draw inspiration from their ways of working to embed into the main company culture. Along with a deep specialism and access to the right tools and tech, partnering with third-party providers can help to bring new perspectives and ideas to your team. 

The partner will become an extension of your organisation for the project’s duration, so it’s essential to choose carefully and assess cultural fit. At Nuon AI, we bring the same culture of open communication and trust to all projects we work on, whether they are internal-only or with insurance customers.

Don’t miss: Our guide to selecting the right technology partner

Area 3: Create a culture of experimentation

Risk…a major theme in all insurance organisations. But are you brave enough to take the leap and encourage risk-taking?

A way to fast-track progress and learning is to allow employees to take calculated risks and experiment with new ideas. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean making major, risky changes that could impact business performance or customer experience. Small, incremental steps can add up to make a big difference.

Nuon AI’s product, at its heart, enables that experimentation to take place in a secure environment that supports your goals by working within the bounds of a defined underwriting appetite.

Got questions?: Discover more about how Nuon AI works

By exploring these key themes and taking steps towards them, insurance companies can create a culture of innovation that drives growth and success in an industry that is constantly evolving.

At Nuon AI, our culture can be summarised nicely into four distinct values: Wellbeing, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, inspired by theories of intrinsic motivation and a clear vision of the type of company we want to build. 

In creating our company values and cultural framework, we looked to other organisations with clearly communicated visions that chime with our own, including:

What are your values and how do they enable you to bring in new innovation? We’d love to hear about them over on our LinkedIn page.

Are you ready to explore the possibility of introducing AI? We’re here to help you assess whether now is the right time in your business transformation journey. 

Book a no obligation initial discussion with our co-founder here.

Is Nuon right for you? Let’s talk! Get in touch now to find out more about how our AI insurance products can benefit your business.

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