Innovation is all around the mutual insurance industry. It’s not just something that is happening to the industry, though. It’s happening by the industry as well, and NAMIC members are deep into creating their own innovations. The winning submissions are recognized each year in June at NAMIC's Management Conference.
2021 Winner – Harford Mutual Insurance Group
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presents the 2021 Award in Innovation, sponsored by Guy Carpenter, Harford Mutual Insurance Group headquartered in Bel Air, Maryland. Harford Mutual received the overall award for its innovative initiative to develop current employee leadership skills and attract new talent to the insurance industry. Since 2013, Harford Mutual has been developing, implementing, and executing a “Pipeline and Perpetuation” initiative. Programs and solutions that have been implemented include an internship program, enhanced employee benefits, young professional training, a leadership group, and a career pathing project. This is HMIG’s first Award in Innovation win.
2020 Winner – Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia in Partnership With Flo Technologies
Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia was nominated by Flo Technologies for their alliance on an innovative new partnership. Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia partnered with Flo by Moen on a pilot program to implement the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff, an industry-leading leak detection device that installs on the main water supply line. For the pilot program, six Mutual Assurance staff members were trained by Flo to be experts in the product, and Flo by Moen hired a professional installer for the Richmond area. The pilot program lasted 9 months and was a great success with a decrease in severity and claims, leading to approximately $250,000 in savings.
2019 MMG Insurance Company, Presque Isle, ME
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presented the 2019 Management Conference in Asheville, N.C., on June 26, 2019 to MMG Insurance headquartered in Presque Isle, Maine. MMG received the overall award for its innovative approach in attracting millennials to its employee base and developing leadership skills within currently employed young professionals.
“Facing the looming talent shortage industry-wide, we realized the need for a new and innovative approach to career design and evolution,” said Larry Shaw, president and CEO of MMG. “It’s a multi-pronged approach that creates a strategic and successful talent pipeline in which employees are empowered by aspiration and the narrative around the insurance industry has been transformed.”
MMG’s goals in creating this new strategy were to improve the quality of entry-level employees; increase the percentage of millennial-age employees; capitalize on developing talent; and prepare promising segments of the company for long-term growth. And, from September 2013 to December 2018, the percentage of millennial employees has nearly doubled at the company, increasing from 21 percent to 38 percent of its workforce.
2018 Mutual of Enumclaw, Enumclaw, WA
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presented the Award in Innovation on June 27 at its 2018 Management Conference in Coronado, Calif. Mutual of Enumclaw, Enumclaw, Wash., was named the recipient of this year’s award, the second time the company has won, the first being in 2014. Driving MoE efforts was the question to employees “What is the value of being a member of a mutual insurer?” The answers led to three unique programs. First, MoE Perks is a mobile app powered by Abenity that provides buying discounts for not just policyholders, but agents and employees. The second program was the development of a relationship with Wildfire Defense Systems, a company providing private wildfire services, combining professional wildfire consulting with federally certified emergency response wildfire suppression services. This allowed MoE to gain access to WDS technology and business model. Total fire losses have declined 90 percent since the WDS crews have worked closely with MoE. Finally, to further extend the working relationship with WDS, MoE asked “What do the WDS fire crews do in the winter?” In early 2018 WDS dedicated crews using its weather technology to track snow storms and schedule snow removals from structures six days a week. MoE’s agents and staff connect with the insureds to secure access to each property identified as needing such service.
2017 Church Mutual Insurance Company, Merrill, WI
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presented the Award in Innovation on June 28 at its 2017 Management Conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Church Mutual Insurance Company, Merrill, Wis., walked away with the overall award for its sensor technology allowing members to be alerted of potential facility threats that could cause major damage. Church Mutual, in conjunction with Hartford Steam Boiler, is leading the next breakthrough in the insurance industry with cloud-based Internet of Things sensor technology. The technology is a cutting-edge risk control product and an industry disruptor. The sensors identify potential problems, such as a drastic drop in the thermostat or standing water, and then notifies the insured via text, email, or phone call. The policyholder can take action to prevent a loss or reduce the severity of one through early intervention. Providing protection before a loss is a paradigm shift in the way traditional insurance approaches risk.