Cookhouse Lab hosted its second annual Hackathon which challenged participants to find solutions to move from passive risk takers to active risk managers. The Hackathon had twenty-four participants which included professionals from various organizations including CAA, Gore Mutual, Munich Re, and Jauntin. These professionals also had the chance to work with thirteen talented students from the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS).

Check out the recap below to discover the problem being tackled, solutions created and methodologies used to ensure a successful experience.  

The Problem to Be ‘Hacked’: Moving from Passive Risk Takers to Active Risk Managers

Looking at the technology surrounding our industry and society, we thought it would be a great time to find solutions that will shift stakeholders from passive risk takers to active risk managers. Gone are the days where insurers wait for a claim to happen. With IoT sensors, phones, and wearables, we are collecting data 24/7 which allows us to define an individual’s norm.

As a result, we can assess any deviation in real time and act accordingly. From the customer perspective, they can see their behavior in a cumulative manner, are more involved in what they do and understand the real time impact of their behavior and lifestyle choices. Not only on their life but also on their policies, for example Vitality’s pay as you drive program.

As an industry, becoming risk managers means savings, not just financially, but also making a positive change in the lives of our customers. Savings lives – supporting healthier lifestyles, behaviors and choices that will prolong healthier lives.

Stepping back and looking at these two aspects, we felt the gains were clear in hosting a Hackathon that would tackle moving towards being active risk takers in Cookhouse Lab.

Highlights From the Solutions Created

The teams worked vigorously through the two-day Hackathon to develop impressive solutions for the problem at hand. Let’s take a glimpse at two of the solutions the teams cooked up:

  • A Dynamic Action Rewards Program: rewards can be redeemed as policy discounts, cash or new insurance products.
  • Travel insurance with focus on home and pet security: a package that covers the things you leave behind when traveling.

Using Masterclasses to Educate Quickly and Effectively

For some participants, this Hackathon was their first tie being exposed to this kind of experience as well as design thinking and lean methodologies. Because of this, education was an important component. However, given the short duration of the Hackathon, the education had to be quick, effective and valuable. Cookhouse Lab used masterclasses to accomplish this.

Masterclasses are thirty-minute presentations delivered by an Innovation Coach, a UX/UI designer, and/or Head of Innovation.

The purpose of these sessions was to provide:

  • A road map/structure that participants could use to make the most of their time
  • A chance to learn about a variety of tools typically used in the labs for sprint projects and how to apply them
  • An opportunity to detach from the intensity of the hackathon, refresh and go back to work with a clear mind

Bringing Together Diverse Backgrounds

One of the key ingredients to a successful Hackathon is having a diverse set of participants. From what we have witnessed at other projects at Cookhouse Lab, the more diverse backgrounds you bring together, the better – as everyone can contribute from their personal experience.

This Hackathon in particular brought together participants from varying backgrounds ranging from computer science and e-commerce to experienced underwriters, digital innovators, and software developers. All of whom were able to work together to find solutions to improve insurance.

In addition to bringing different skill sets together, having students team up with working professionals brought another element of diversity. The teams were able to successfully integrate their ideas, learn from different perspectives and expand their thinking from local experience to international insights. Both left feeling impressed and inspired by each other.

What did the ‘hackathoners’ take away from this experience?

  • an understanding of design thinking and how to apply it
  • tips and tricks from experts featured during masterclasses
  • lo-fi prototypes to take back to their organizations
  • new connections (local and international)
  • the achievement of conquering a two-day Hackathon 

Overall, this Hackathon was another successful innovation experience served up at Cookhouse Lab. We’d like to extend a huge thank all of our participants for dedicating two days of productivity, creativity and hard work into finding solutions to address an industry challenge.

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