’As technology continues to advance rapidly, we must keep innovating at pace,’ says group chief innovation and digital officer 

Insurer Zurich has revealed that a UK firm was among nine winners in its 2024 Innovation Championship.

The programme is an annual, worldwide competition that offers startups, scaleups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to collaborate with the insurer.

This year’s winners have been tackling challenges in commercial insurance, digital simplification, life and health and retail property and casualty.

Among winners was MentionMe, a UK-based customer advocacy intelligence platform, which Zurich said was a “wildcard”.

Other winners include Climada Technologies, Sixfold, Parloa GMBH, Merlynn, NalaGenetics, AccuHealth, LoyJoy GMBH and AlphaGeo.

Paolo Mantero, group chief strategy officer at Zurich, said: “Solutions that are tailored to customers and their evolving needs are the future of insurance.

“Whether it’s making the financial impact of climate risks more tangible, improving underwriting efficiency or creating personalised health programs, these innovative initiatives can truly transform the industry.”

Next steps

The Zurich Innovation Championship was launched in 2018 and this year more than 3,300 applications were submitted within four weeks.

The winners will enter a four-month long accelerator, where firms can pilot initiatives and prepare a business plan in collaboration with the insurer’s business units.

Successful initiatives will be announced in September 2024.

Ericson Chan, group chief innovation and digital officer at Zurich, said: “As technology continues to advance rapidly, we must keep innovating at pace.

”All of this year’s winners use AI to redefine risk assessment, underwriting, claims and customer interaction.

”By working together with these startups, we can rapidly leverage those new ideas and technologies to deliver a standout customer experience.”