ICMIF member EMC Insurance Companies (USA) was recently announced as the winner of two innovation awards by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), during its annual Award in Innovation presentation. These national awards were created by NAMIC in 2014 to recognise mutual insurers that exemplify the vision and entrepreneurialism it takes to stay relevant in changing times. EMC was recognised as the winner of the Best in Category – Creativity and Best in Category – Conference Alignment awards.
These awards are the latest recognition of EMC’s market-leading innovation journey. In May, EMC was named 2020 innovationLEADER of the Year by innovationIOWA Magazine in recognition of the originality, leadership and impact of their innovative culture and processes. Late last year, EMC also received the Insurtech Corporate Innovation Award from Plug and Play at its Winter Summit in Silicon Valley.
Commenting on the NAMIC awards, EMC President and CEO Scott Jean (pictured) said: “We are so grateful to NAMIC for recognizing the great strides we’ve made in our innovative journey over the past few years. In addition to our extensive involvement in the insurtech space, we have been particularly focused on engaging all of our team members in fostering a culture of innovation. These efforts have helped move our organisation forward, and we are eager to capitalise on our innovative momentum through the remainder of 2020 and beyond.”
“EMC clearly believes innovation is re-shaping our industry and that it is critical we respond to, research, embrace and implement innovative technologies, processes and ways of thinking to move our industry forward,” said Chuck Chamness, NAMIC president and CEO. “Innovation ensures that the industry stays competitive and provides the high level of service policyholders have come to rely on. I am grateful for the ingenuity and commitment EMC has contributed to the insurance industry.”
Founded in 1895, NAMIC is the largest property/casualty trade association in the country and serves its 1,400 member companies in the areas of advocacy and education. NAMIC is also an ICMIF member.
EMC’s innovation journey
In the organisation’s 2018 employee engagement survey, the word most frequently used to describe EMC was “conservative.” Only one year later, the 2019 employee engagement survey results revealed that “innovative” was the most commonly used word to describe EMC.
Key factors of success have been purposeful intent, leadership buy-in, and team member readiness. EMC believes innovation is truly re-shaping our industry and that it is critical that we respond to, research, embrace and implement innovative technologies, processes and ways of thinking. Doing so ensures that EMC stays competitive and provides the level of service and engagement their independent agencies, policyholders and team members expect.
The journey began with the creation of a Strategic Analytics Department and Innovation Lab in 2016 and then hiring its first Innovation Leader, Jason Gross. In support of a culture of innovation, the Innovation Team at EMC was formed in 2017 with the goal of designing and delivering innovative programmes, processes and communications. The group collaborates across all business units through:
- Cross-Enterprise Innovation Team - Subject matter experts develop and maintain a pipeline of innovative solutions.
- Innovation for Breakfast – A monthly program where all employees are invited to see pitches from insurtech companies and connect with senior leaders on innovation priorities and successes.
- Emerging Issues and Trends Councils - Cross-functional teams research emerging trends in insurance and identify opportunities for the company.
- Insurtech Process – A multi-step process to ensure all experts are involved in decisions, including information technology, strategic analytics, security, legal and compliance.
- Labs - Pop-Up Innovation Labs create hands-on opportunities for employees to explore, research and recommend new technologies.
To read more about EMC’s innovation journey, you can read their detailed Award in Innovation submission on the NAMIC website.