Model Insurer

Introduction to the Model Insurer Awards

Model Insurer is the premier award available in the insurance industry globally.  Celent awards this honor to insurers, reinsurers and MGAs who demonstrate extraordinary results for best practices in technology usage across a variety of areas critical to success in insurance.

Within this set of frequently asked questions, we use the term insurer to refer indistinctively to insurance companies, reinsurers and MGAs.

Celent’s Model Insurer Program seeks out exceptional examples of the use of technology across a wide variety of areas critical to success in insurance. Each year we invite insurers, reinsurers and MGAs to nominate their technology initiatives. We review all nominations and recognize the top submissions with a Model Insurer Award.

Every year, we recognize one initiative as the overall Model Insurer of the Year, the top honor. Model Insurer of the Year is not a specific category and insurers do not nominate themselves for this award. Instead, Celent judges select one initiative from those already submitted.

There are no specific criteria for Model Insurer of the Year. However, the winning initiatives typically deliver distinctively impressive business benefits to the insurance carrier, while also exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A radically different (or a step change from the existing) technology platform and operating model.
  • A transformation of the institution’s capability to innovate.
  • The creation of a lasting social impact.
  • True results — both quantitative and financial as well as soft benefits. 
  • A standout from the crowd project that impresses all Celent judges.

Insurers view the Celent Model Insurer as a distinctly prestigious award. The awards are focused on insurance but span a full spectrum of technology initiatives rather than being narrowly focused on one. Competition is global and fierce, and the selection process is rigorous. Award winners are in great company and are proud of such association. Past winners include institutions from all parts of the globe. Being recognized as a Model Insurer provides great publicity for the recipient of the award and any other associated firms.

Applying to the Model Insurer Awards

Eligibility to Apply

The awards are available to any insurer, reinsurer or MGA globally. Anyone in these categories can apply, irrespective of whether they have a prior relationship with Celent. There is no charge to insurers, reinsurers, MGAs or vendors to participate in the Model Insurer process.

Any IT related initiative, regardless of the date when it was executed, is eligible for a Model Insurer award. The initiative must be in production at the insurer, though we consider some exceptions which can be found in the “Judging Criteria and Evaluation Process” section.

We seek initiatives that can demonstrate a very clear impact on customers, i.e. how the initiatives can help the insurers provide their customers a better product or service experience, make them feel more secure, opened a new market for the insurer or accomplished all of the above more efficiently while better managing risk.

Vendors are not qualified to receive a Model Insurer award but are welcome to assist their clients with their nominations or nominate on their behalf with the insurer’s FULL consent. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done primarily with the insurer.

Model Insurer winners are featured in Celent case studies. If an insurer is not prepared to participate in the case study process or share details of its initiative publicly, then it (or its vendor) should not submit an application. Please refer to the section “WHAT HAPPENS IF WE WIN A MODEL INSURER AWARD?” for more details on this.

When we receive a submission, we reserve the right to confirm with the insurer that they are happy to participate and may disqualify the submission if we don’t receive a positive confirmation directly from the insurer.

Application Process

Our nomination window for the 2022 program closed on October 15, 2021. However, we encourage you to prepare your nominations for our 2023 Model Awards program!

Winners will be announced March 15-17, 2022 at Celent’s Innovation and Insight Week.

Yes, absolutely, we encourage you to submit all the initiatives that you are proud of; however, just submit each initiative once and under the category you believe it fits best. Celent will review the initiative and place it in the appropriate category if necessary. DO NOT SUBMIT THE SAME INITIATIVE MULTIPLE TIMES UNDER DIFFERENT CATEGORIES. Multiple submissions of the same project will not improve your chances of winning.

Celent, at its own criteria, is entitled to eliminate or create a new category as deemed necessary.

If the improvements relate to the same solution (e.g. different functionalities to your digital platform), we would recommend submitting a single application and highlighting the various functionalities as key features for why you believe your platform merits an award. We expect competition to be fierce, and by fragmenting your platform functionality into discrete components, you run the risk that none of them individually will be strong enough to win. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity.

Yes, please upload the material to the Additional Material section of the nomination form.

We will send an email confirmation to the insurer contact indicated in the submission and, if applicable, vendor contacts also listed there. If you haven’t heard from us within a few days of your submission, please contact us at modelinsurer@celent.com.

Confidentiality

Protecting the confidentiality of the firms with whom we have a relationship is an obligation we take extremely seriously.

We may use anonymized data from any submission for research purposes. We will not, however, publish or disclose any information about the nomination that could be directly attributed to you. We will ask your permission before mentioning your company by name in the context of your Model Insurer submission.

If your nomination wins an award, we will work with you to publish a case study of your initiative. Your firm will be mentioned by name, and we will publish the case study only after you have reviewed it in a timely fashion and given your approval. Once published, we may refer to the case study again in other publications as an example of good practice. Please refer to the section “WHAT HAPPENS IF WE WIN A MODEL INSURER AWARD?” for more details on this.

No, we will never disclose the fact that you submitted a Model Insurer nomination, unless we recognize you as a Model Insurer award winner. In the event that we wish to refer to your nomination in another context, we will contact you to obtain permission before doing so.

Judging Criteria and Evaluation Process

While the Model Insurer process has evolved somewhat, one thing has remained constant through the years: the evaluation criteria. We continue to judge the initiatives on three criteria.

Business Benefits

The most important of the three evaluation criteria. We are looking for initiatives with a clear and sustainable impact on the insurer’s business, so make sure to include quantifiable business benefits. We appreciate that some benefits are hard to quantify, but vague statements about expected benefits from the business case will not be sufficient. We also appreciate that you don’t want to divulge potentially competitively sensitive information. If you are not comfortable sharing absolute figures with us, feel free to talk about relative performance (for example, percentage revenue increase or cost saving).

Degree of Innovation

This measure looks at how innovative the initiative is in using technology to improve sales or service results, reduce risks or costs, or improve business processes. The initiative doesn’t have to be the “world’s first,” although that obviously helps. We are interested in how you experiment with emerging technologies to drive your business. However, innovation doesn’t only mean “bleeding edge” technology; often it is about how you apply technology to enhance your customer experience or to transform the ways of working.

Technology or Implementation Excellence

Some initiatives are noteworthy for their extreme difficulty, complexity of technology, or implementation excellence. Have you just done a “heart transplant on an in-flight plane”? Was it an integration nightmare? Did you roll it out around the world? Did you find a really interesting way to collaborate with a third party? Have you woven a complex ecosystem to deliver the solution? If so, we want to hear about it, and such an initiative will score highly on this dimension.

All Celent Insurance analysts are involved in the judging process, although the exact approach should perhaps remain “a secret sauce.”

Yes, with one important exception. Historically we only awarded “live” initiatives, which are already delivering demonstrable business benefits, and we will continue to only consider such initiatives in most categories in 2022. However, in the Innovation and the Emerging Technologies categories, we invite you to submit initiatives at the proof-of-concept or pilot stage; or share your efforts to improve innovation capabilities. We want to hear about expected impact on the business, although recognize that it might be difficult to demonstrate quantifiable business benefits at this stage.

Over the years, our Model Insurer program has grown increasingly popular and has become fiercely competitive.

No. Some of the nominating firms, and many of the eventual winners, are or have been clients to Celent’s retained advisory service. However, we never give preference to clients in the selection process, and always ensure that Celent was not directly involved in the creation or deployment of any of the initiatives that have been recognized. To do otherwise would mean compromising our values and risking the reputation we have taken such great care to build.

If you are considering entering your initiative, you must be proud of what you achieved. Make sure it comes across in your submission form. Clearly tell us what you did and why, and why you think what you did is unique and deserves recognition. Focus on essential points, but don’t skimp on detail.

You would be surprised how many entries suffer from lack of clarity; it’s as if some candidates think that if they bamboozle us with technology acronyms, we will be more impressed, or if they twist their arguments into a knot, we will award them just for sounding clever. Your initiative might be brilliant, but if we can’t understand it, you won’t win. Clarity of your submission is crucial!

Consider including internal documentation (for example, documents you may have used to socialize the initiative internally). Celent welcomes additional materials to supplement a well-written application.

Timelines

Our nomination window for the 2022 program closed on October 15, 2021. However, we encourage you to prepare your nominations for our 2023 Model Awards program!

Winners will be announced March 15-17, 2022 at Celent’s Innovation and Insight Week.

Application delays inevitably delay the judging process and are unfair to all participants. However, in exceptional circumstances, we may allow extra few days to submit an application. If you expect that you would not be able to submit your nomination in time, please contact modelinsurer@celent.com with an explanation for why you require additional time.

We expect to notify the award winners in November 2021. We will send an email to the individuals with contact details on the submission form. If there is a vendor involved and contact details are available, we will copy the vendor as well.

We will also email all nominees who did not win the award, typically a couple of days after we communicate results to the winners.

What Happens if we Win a Model Insurer Award?

Privileges and Responsibilities of Model Insurer Award Winners

Winning the Model Insurer award gives the institution a number of privileges including a case study featuring the award-winning initiative included in the Model Insurer series, available to all Celent research subscription clients as well as social promotion from Celent celebrating your win.

Celent will ask all Model Insurer award winners to:

  • Support Celent in writing the case study about your initiative. Typically, this involves one to two telephone interviews and/or a few emails interchanged with the analyst authoring the case study, including your review and approval of the case study.
  • Send at least one senior representative familiar with the initiative to the award ceremony to accept the award. If our annual Innovation and Insight Day is virtual again in 2022, the award ceremony will take the form of recorded initiative presentations by Celent analysts.

Yes, we will ask all Model Insurer award winners to observe the following timelines:

  • Acknowledge within 24 hours the receipt of our email informing you that your initiative won the award.
  • Unless you inform us otherwise, this acknowledgment will confirm that you are happy to accept the award and oblige with the winner’s responsibilities.
  • Identify relevant executive(s) for case study interview(s) within one week of the original email.
  • Confirm the executive who will accept the award as early as possible.
  • Approve the case study for publishing – as early as possible, but no later than two weeks prior to the awards ceremony.

We will confirm specific dates for 2022 when we send you the winner’s email.

Of course, even with the best will in the world, things do not always go as planned. We will work with you to manage the process along the way as closely as possible. At the absolute minimum, we need to have the case study written and approved by the insurer, in order to still proceed with the award.

In the extreme scenario, if the insurer does not support the case study or doesn’t respond to an email congratulating them on winning the award, we will have no choice but to disqualify the initiative. Over the years we only had to do this on a couple of occasions, but came close a number of times.

Case Study Support

A Celent analyst will be responsible for writing the case study and at their discretion recording a short video showcasing the initiative. The analyst will be identified and introduced to you via email informing you that your initiative has won the award. He or she should be your first port of call for any additional questions you might have about the Model Insurer program. Of course, if you are an existing client, your account manager will continue to serve as the primary point of contact at Celent.

The information you will have supplied in the application form will serve as a great starting point for the case study. In addition, we ask all award winners to support us by:

  • Helping us arrange one or more interviews with relevant FI executives familiar with the initiative to get more details if necessary.
  • Supplying any available visuals (e.g. screenshots, charts, etc.) helpful to illustrate features and benefits of the solution.
  • Reviewing the draft and managing any necessary internal approvals to allow us to publish the case study.

The whole process should not take much more than a couple of hours of your time.

The case study is typically 6-9 pages long and covers the following topics:

Overview

  • Brief description of the company, usually from corporate literature.
  • Brief synopsis of the award-winning initiative.

Opportunity

  • Pain points or business opportunity – why did you launch this initiative?
  • Market and competition, or anything else relevant to understanding the case study.

Solution

  • What was built/ developed?
  • How? Over what period?
  • Who was involved?
  • What is unique about the solution/ initiative?
  • What were the biggest challenges?

Results and Lessons Learned

  • Quantitative and qualitative information of what the company achieved because of the initiative.
  • What are the future plans – e.g. geographic expansion, new functionality?
  • What were the most critical success factors that made this initiative successful?

The interview questions would broadly follow this outline.

We are not asking to disclose anything that’s confidential and would not publish anything before your explicit approval. We do ask, though, that in the submission form you identify any piece of information provided that we won’t be able to include in a case study, as we need to ensure that we have enough material to demonstrate why yours is a winning case. 

We expect to publish the Model Insurer reports during Celent’s Innovation and Insight Week 2022 on March 15-17, 2022..

Yes, you will receive a courtesy copy of your Model Insurer case study report for internal use only. Of course, if you are a Celent research subscription client, you will be able to access all Model Insurer reports just like any other Celent report.

Publicity

Celent will publicly announce all Model Insurer award winners during the award ceremony at Innovation and Insight Week 2022 on March 15-17. Case studies will be published the same day as well.

Yes, Celent supports and encourages the Model Insurer award winners to issue a press release announcing this achievement. However, in order to ensure accuracy and consistent messaging across all of our winners, we ask that each company wishing to issue a release send it to Celent’s PR team at pr@celent.com for review and approval.

Yes, we have prepared simple guidelines which can be accessed here.

We ask that you keep the news under embargo until we publicly announce all Model Insurer award winners. If you want to issue your own press release, we recommend doing so on the day following the award ceremony.

Yes, but you must purchase redistribution rights from Celent first. Please contact your Celent account manager or write to info@celent.com.

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