In February, insurer Zurich announced the launch of its UK Innovation Foundry, a new initiative aiming to effectively meet the ‘ever-changing’ needs of consumers, as well as promoting a culture of innovation throughout the insurance industry. It is also hoped that insurers will be inspired to work more directly with their customers in order to better understand them.
The Foundry aims to provide sufficient support for those involved to develop any idea, from new in-company processes to new products and technology. Zurich cites the examples of its recent partnerships with the likes of Laka, a UK-based ‘disruptive bike insurance product’, and FaceQuote, a tool that utilises ‘selfies’ to educate customers about life insurance.
Depending on the nature of the proposition, the Foundry will prefer to nurture long-term partnerships rather than working on an acquisitive basis.
“We launched the UK Innovation Foundry to build on a central principle of Zurich’s global strategy – that innovation and fostering an innovative culture should be a permanent fixture for all organisations that want to stay relevant,” said David White, Managing Director for Retail at Zurich Insurance plc. “If we are going to think and work differently, we need to focus our efforts in the right places and the Innovation Foundry will take ideas from an initial ‘spark’, test them for value at every stage and move to a full scale roll-out for the right ideas. Building on our experience and achievements over the past year, we aim to work this into the very fabric of our business. No idea will be considered wrong – however, if something doesn’t work we want to fail fast and move on to the next thing. This is a very exciting time for Zurich in the UK so watch this space!”