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Changing Face of Innovation in the Insurance Industry
(EMAILWIRE.COM, July 30, 2008 ) Sacramento, California - In the insurance industry, the pace of innovation continues to pick up, as the industry lags in overall organic growth. Innovation has a sense of urgency and the insurance industry has an appetite for change. With the industry's overall weak organic growth, it creates a perfect storm for change.

Successful innovation strategies can provide your company with significant benefits, both internally and in the competitive marketplace. If you are among the first in your industry to embrace innovation, you could have a significant competitive advantage.

"Many things about innovation are different now," said Davis. "Today's innovation is driven by people, not technology. For the most part, the insurance industry has pushed a great deal of cost efficiencies through better use of technology. Clients, insurance companies, brokers and agents have all benefited from better technology tools." But Ms. Davis predicts that in the next five years, innovation in the insurance industry will change and become more about design, new product development, creation (and re-creation) of distribution channels and business models, insight to identify unmet customer needs and ability to re-package insurance products and services.

During the first half of 2008, approximately 50 insurance carriers and wholesalers announced new insurance products. In part, they included AIG, Ace USA, Beazley, Hartford, Lexington, Navigators, OneBeacon, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Swett & Crawford, XL Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Westrope, Zurich, Beecher Carlson, Allied World, Arch and CNA. "While these new product introductions represent progress, getting innovation into the DNA of the insurance industry is a challenge" said Davis.

"In order for innovation in the insurance industry to take full flight, you have to go beyond the traditional definition of innovation and develop a culture in which new ideas are a part of the DNA and touch all sides of the industry. Innovation is deeper than a single website and insurance product. Innovation and thought leadership also include new ways to engage in a discussion with clients, repackaging and publishing ideas and the ability to develop products and services that deeply understands it's business and the needs of it's customers," commented Davis.

Davis further presented, "industry experts report that the average organic growth rates during 2007 fell to around 3.7%. When you combine this with a slowing economy and continued soft insurance market, future earnings in the insurance industry will require a more active and creative innovation pipeline for industry rejuvenation."

Having facilitated many workshops on innovation, through the Women's Network, over the past year, Davis reflected on the impact innovation has had on her career. "Some innovation will yield mixed results, while others will have more success. The challenge for most organizations is to identify new opportunities, have a culture in which new ideas are celebrated, while maintaining acceptable profit margins. You have to forget your job title and focus on leadership and use your rich, diverse portfolio of skills. Talk to your gang about the changing word and what is needed for survival. Work with what you've got and make it special. And that is the wave of the future."

For more information about the Keynote speech, please send an email inquiry to Anna Smith at the California Women’s Network at

About the Discussion Leader:
Julie K. Davis has been with Aon Corporation (AOC) for fifteen years. She is the recipient of Chicago Innovation Awards, Insurance Innovators Award, and finalist in Annual Stevie Awards for Innovation of Best New Product / Service, recognized by I-Street Magazine in their annual "Women in Black" Awards and recently named Who's Who for Entrepreneurial Work in Insurance and Risk Management Field. She attended University of Texas and Rice University. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 408-439-2654.

About the California Women’s Network:
This event has approximately 120 participants. The group is a women's association designed for leaders of new or rapidly growing companies with less than 1,000 employees and leaders of autonomous business units in larger organizations.

Source: Anna Smith, President, California Women's Network Group,


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