How competitors can co-create the future of insurance

Five insurance companies work with the EY organization to join forces and co-create new business models to be future-proof in a rapidly changing market.
Event attendees look at a board with sticky notes

The better the question

How will free thinking lead to rethinking the future?

Evolving customer demands, rapid digitalization and unfamiliar competition are forcing insurance companies to think outside the box.

As digitalization continues to profoundly change work and personal lives, the insurance industry has been busy trying to keep pace by finding ways to innovate. The industry has been traditionally rather risk-averse around innovation, with well-established business models and large companies relying heavily on market power.

Today, however, innovation and the ability to create customer-centric solutions become vital for insurers to succeed. Insurance companies are increasingly facing unfamiliar competition, especially from insurtechs who are developing new business models with the help of new technologies such as smart data and artificial intelligence. Digital natives, with their unique preferences and perspectives, have new customer needs and are therefore also challenging the industry’s assumptions while demanding newer, more relevant offers for them.

Faced with these challenges, five well-known German insurance companies turned to the business model innovation professionals at EY Innovalue and etventure, and joined the insurHUB program at EY wavespaceTM Berlin in Kreuzberg.

Supporting companies to co-create is the focus of the work at EY wavespace1 Berlin. The innovation center is a protected space in combination with an open ecosystem. This environment was ideal for the insurers as, within their core organizations, known thinking structures and boundaries often stop them from freely ideating and sparring with unbiased minds. 

Men and women talking in modern office

The better the answer

Co-creating the future of insurance

Delegates from competing insurers worked together to explore digital technologies, develop new business models and network with start-ups.

insurHUB is an innovation program initiated and led by EY Innovalue, V.E.R.S. Leipzig and SAP.

Five companies joined insurHUB and sent delegates to create new business models, and to learn new work methods turning them into ambassadors of those methods in their core organizations. They’ll apply the acquired know-how and skills to drive innovation and new thinking from within, and to develop innovative solutions for the insurance industry.

The delegates spent nine months at the EY wavespace facilities in Berlin networking and ideating through the application of design thinking. Throughout the design-thinking sprints, which lasted several weeks, they generated new ideas and solutions for emerging customer needs and translated ideas into business models. For that, they also put their heads together with professionals and people who know and understand the industry and the methodologies best.

It is really fun to be here! What I really like about wavespace is the fact that co-creation is not just theoretically discussed, but realized.

Working with subject-matter resources from EY and etventure, they networked with start-ups and cross-industry firms to explore new ways of working, and to generate and execute innovative ideas for their sector solving emerging business challenges.

Competitors worked together as colleagues.

wavespace provides a really good base for the insurHUB concept and offers the appropriate conditions for cross-competition cooperation — here, co-creation becomes reality!

Event attendees review ideas together

The better the world works

Cooperation: the key to successful innovation

Participants left EY wavespace as ambassadors of agility and innovation, with fresh perspectives on collaboration and new business ideas.

In the inspirational and protected space of EY wavespace Berlin – with regards to structures and environment – and with help from professionals at etventure and EY, the insurHUB participants benefited from the open ecosystem as they networked with start-ups, explored digital and design thinking, and put their imagination into action. This specific combination let them become creative, think freely and break boundaries.

  • In more than 20 design-thinking workshops, they generated hundreds of business ideas and validated 25 of them. Some of the most valuable and impactful ideas were iteratively refined and transferred to the insurers for further evaluation and potential realization.
  • They came in as representatives of their company and left as ambassadors of a more agile and customer-centric way of working. They’re now equipped with required know-how and skills to promote flexible structures and open mindedness in their organizations to drive cultural change.
  • The program reinforced the message that cooperation and operating in an ecosystem are key to finding success in innovation – a principle that applies to the insurance sector as much as it does to other sectors.

Contact us
Like what you’ve seen? Get in touch to learn more.

Our latest thinking

How the right conversations can empower finance transformation strategies

Companies need more open dialog about how to effectively implement new technology. Finding the headspace for these conversations is key.