Prevention is better than…

09Jan12

Today I came across the following story in a discussion about insurance in Australia.

On Christmas day my suburb in Melbourne got hit by hail and flooding. Being with [XYZ insurance company] for my car insurance I got an SMS from them 10 minutes before the hail hit, warning me of the impending hail and suggesting I garage my car….which I immediately did. My car was the only car on my street without hail damage.

And I thought “what a simple, but clever, innovation”. The technology to do this is freely available. It would take a few days to implement. It’s the sort of thing that makes customers happy and smug. It is cheap… and you wouldn’t have to save many cars from being written off before the development cost was covered.

But such innovations in the insurance industry are so rare that I think it is worth writing about. Why is innovation so unusual?

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4 Responses to “Prevention is better than…”

  1. 1 Graham

    Really good idea’s are often from people who work with the problem, but are not always able to articulate the benefits well enough to be heard.

    • Graham – yes, I’ve seen that happen. But I have also seen well articulated business cases fail to make progress. Some organisations seem to have an immune system which kills off the ‘bacteria’ of good ideas…

  2. There’s frequently a significant “cloud layer” between the people at the bottom who see what the problem is (and therefore what could be done to make a difference) and the people who allocate the budget. See The Plan here: http://fprintf.net/isms.html

    • Drew – fair point. On that basis small companies should be measurably more innovative (less cloud layer). I’m not sure that I have seen any evidence for that in the insurance sector in the last 20 years.

      I like “The Plan” 🙂


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