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[SERIES] Inside Cookhouse Lab - We Exist to Embrace Insurance Disruption Together

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 16, 2018 9:15:15 AM / by Natalie Ho

Natalie Ho

Inside CHL - We exist to embrace

Don’t Wait for Disruption

According to the CB Insights Quarterly InsurTech Briefing published in January 2018, a recent innovation survey revealed that 75% of 600 (re)insurance respondents believe their company is “moderately” or “extremely” at-risk of disruption. Nearly 72% of the allocated resources focused on incremental technologies (and not disruptive) and almost half of these (re)insurers described their innovation philosophy as ‘ad-hoc’.

It has become evident that we as an industry will continue to be challenged by disruption, and clearly, none of us are alone.


Helping You Embrace Disruption

Every party in the insurance value chain plays a vital role in setting the path ahead. Cookhouse Lab was founded to bridge the gaps and build connections between customers, (re)insurers, internal resources, innovation experts, and InsurTechs.

We exist to harness the collective knowledge powered by insurance customers and internal resources while learning from innovation experts and InsurTechs who are disrupting the insurance landscape.

By encouraging peers and competitors from global organizations and diverse backgrounds to break down barriers and work together in our collaborative, co-creative environment, magic happens.

Cookhouse Lab’s vision is to:

  • Improve insurance
  • Foster and encourage open collaboration
  • Generate new business models

Cookhouse Lab’s mission is to:

  • Share and collaborate
  • Design and create
  • Accelerate innovation and prototyping

Solving Wicked Problems Through Collaboration

To promote industry collaboration and self-disruption, we facilitate projects that address wicked problems within the insurance industry.

What are wicked problems? If you’re familiar with design thinking, you’ve likely heard the term. Wicked problems are impossible to solve because they are highly complex, involves plenty of changing requirements, and loads of inter-dependencies. Sounds a little bit like insurance, no?

Looking at some of the transformative opportunities presented to date, including blockchain, emerging risks, digital distribution, and improving customer experience, it is easy to see that trying to innovate in a vacuum is going to be far more limiting than working together to reinvent how we operate as an industry collectively (B3i is a great industry example).

While this philosophy is top of mind for all Cookhouse Lab projects, our Delays in APS project in 2017 is a great example of how it came to life. The primary focus of this project was to improve the current time lags in receiving Attending Physician Statements (doctor’s reports) and their subsequent consequences in the underwriting process and the delays in the issuance of life and health insurance.

The problem is common to countries globally, and in Canada alone, it translates to a $80MM financial impact.

During the 12-week sprint, Cookhouse Lab brought together nine (re)insurance companies to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to develop a process that reduces the time required for policy issue from 60 to 14 days.

Wrap Up Blog 6

Our design and creation process focuses on generating impactful business models to improve current processes. We employ design thinking and a lean start-up methodology (we will talk more about this in the near future) to develop Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). Our open innovation model allows member participants to freely continue with the development and implementation cycles within their own organization, or perhaps, recognize that some of these models are much more successful when executed together in the future.

Throughout 2017 we generated over 10 MVPs, including major opportunities in blockchainmillennial customer engagement, and insuring new risks!

To accelerate innovation and the prototyping process, we limit sprints to 12 weeks. This condensed time frame maximizes engagement while being mindful of our participants’ time and resources, and expedites the delivery of quality ideas and solutions.

How many MVPs did your organization produce in 2017?


How Did our Co-Creation Efforts Stack Up? 

2017 in Numbers

We are so proud of what was accomplished in the Cookhouse Lab in 2017, all of which would not be possible without our incredible members! We welcomed nearly 200 participants representing (re)insurance, InsurTechs, and professional organizations around the world. What is even more rewarding is the momentous energy we've experienced surrounding innovation in the insurance industry. Since opening our doors in February 2017, we've been thrilled to contribute to the insurance innovation journey, whether through projects, workshops, conferences, and more.


Innovation Opportunities in 2018 and Beyond

We look forward to driving innovation and promoting collaboration this year. To determine what problems to undertake, we'll be asking questions including:

  • How do we combat longevity and wellness in life and health insurance?
  • What is insurance’s role in climate change?
  • How do we leverage technologies such as AI, blockchain, and chatbots?
  • What can we learn from tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, and Netflix? 
  • What is the impact of emerging trends?

We’ll continue to take a global approach to bring together more innovators and leverage collective skills. Finally, we are eager to offer our member organizations more awareness of our methodologies and further education in innovation.

In the spirit of collaboration, we’d love to hear from you.


<<< Share Your Innovation Idea Here >>>


Join our Self-Disruption Journey

Often, when people think of 'who can innovate', they automatically think of in-house experts, researchers, or development labs.  From our experience last year, we can attest that anybody who wants to innovate, can innovate! This is the core belief that drives our mission to innovate by soliciting ideas from everyday professionals who share our ambition to better the insurance industry.

So I will part with this, here are a variety of ways to get involved in our innovation lab:

  • Explore Cookhouse Lab's  membership options to get a full immersive experience from beginning to end. 

I urge you to continue to follow along our behind the scenes series. Next up, we will cover our design thinking and lean start-up methodologies. Subscribe to our blog to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

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Natalie Ho

Written by Natalie Ho

Head of Marketing at LOGiQ3 Group and Toronto's First #InsurTech Innovation Lab, Cookhouse Lab.

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