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Five key enablers for bringing shared value to life

March 6, 2017

Using test and learn approaches to uncover shared value potential

Lee McDougall, Manager, Shared Value and Sustainability at IAG, a Founding Member of the Shared Value Project, shares how innovation aligned to IAG’s purpose – we make your world a safer place – is a critical and important enabler for delivering against IAG’s ambitious shared value approach.

Shared value is fundamental to the way we do business at IAG. As the leading general insurer in Australia and New Zealand, and with a growing presence in Asia, our role extends beyond creating insurance policies and paying claims.  We have a responsibility to use our scale and influence to deliver commercial value while helping to build safer, stronger and more confident communities.

Innovation aligned to our purpose – we make your world a safer place – is a critical and important enabler for delivering against IAG’s ambitious shared value approach.  Having established the building blocks for embedding shared value in our business culture and strategy, IAG has adopted a test and learn approach to identify and explore new opportunities with shared value potential.  We showcased some of this work at our recent shared value ‘Insight’ event and are now highlighting five key enablers for bringing shared value to life.

1. Tapping into data and analytics

As an insurer, we hold enormous amounts of data that gives us unique insights into different types of homes, cars and businesses, including the impact of incidents and emergencies on people and those assets.  We know that insights from this data have the potential to make our customers and communities safer at home, work and on the road.  If we can deliver solutions that do this at scale, we can also drive commercial value by reducing the cost and frequency of the claims we receive.

Building on the IAG Research Centre’s road safety initiatives, we have been exploring new ways of using motor claims data with customer and community insights to design solutions that help to reduce accidents at accident hotspots.  We have run experiments to test the top two ideas and have learnt enough to know there is potential to deliver shared value through this work.  We are now exploring how the prototypes and learning might be weaved into other road safety initiatives being tackled by IAG.

2. Getting to know new customer segments

The prevalence of underinsurance and noninsurance is a key societal challenge for our industry and communities.  Through application of human centred design tools and techniques, we are becoming better acquainted with people in our communities who are struggling to access insurance and less likely to be our customers.  We are then using our learnings to prototype and test new products, services and adjacent commercial opportunities that have the potential to address their needs, while attracting new customer segments to IAG and improving the safety and resilience of our communities.

Insurance 4 That exemplifies this approach. Launched in 2015, Insurance 4 That is a low-cost single item insurance for Australians who might not require a traditional home and contents policy like millennials and renters.  It was developed following extensive consultation with consumer and community groups, with growing concerns budget pressures and changing lifestyles were preventing certain parts of the community taking out contents insurance to protect valuable assets.

Last year, we commissioned Australia’s first national research project into the risk exposure and insurance needs of Indigenous communities.  This research helped highlight the challenges many Indigenous people and communities face with insurance.  We are using our learnings and further engagement with Indigenous communities to evolve our products and services to better meet their needs.

3. Experimenting with emerging technologies

Technology is fundamentally changing the way we access information and services, and the way we work, play and interact with each other and our assets.  It is also opening up new possibilities for tackling societal issues and driving commercial value.

We have worked closely with a group of millennials to explore how we could develop an experience that helps millennials take the right steps to protect themselves from risks and unexpected events when they move out of home for the first time.  Together we created the First Place game, which uses virtual reality technology to give participants a firsthand experience of common home hazards and how to avoid them.  Anecdotal feedback from our early pilots shows that participants are more likely to spot hazards in their home and go home and make actual changes, including reviewing their current insurance situation.

4. Unlocking the power of partnerships

Making the shift from transactional to integrated partnerships with a common purpose is proving to be an effective way of uncovering new avenues for delivering shared value.

Our extensive value chain includes diverse organisations across numerous industries and geographical locations.  The relationships we have with many of these organisations are a rich source of untapped shared value potential. Bendigo Bank and CGU, for example, have teamed up to offer the Greenlight Driver Education program to help young people be better, safer drivers and provide them with insurance and personal loan benefits.  At the same time as making our roads safer, together we are reducing claims costs and generating new revenue.  Similarly, through our long-standing partnerships with the NSW and Qld SES, we are helping to reduce the impact of storms on our customers and communities, while helping to drive down storm claims and SES callouts – 92% of people surveyed who saw our NSW StormSafe campaign have taken some kind of preparedness action.

Our experience of collective impact-style partnering through the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities is also motivating us to explore more unusual and innovative collaborations.  The Roundtable is an example of the business, not-for-profit, government and community sectors combining their diverse expertise and working together to effect solutions to a complex social and economic problem.  The Roundtable is working to make communities safer and more resilient to extreme weather events.  It believes the implementation of targeted resilience measures across Australia will reduce the loss of life, property and key infrastructure when disaster strikes.  For IAG, communities and infrastructure that are more resilient to natural disaster suffer less loss and destruction.  This reduces IAG’s cost of claims and increases its profitability.  IAG can reinvest those savings to make insurance more affordable for more Australians, or use it to build even more resilient communities.

5. Uncovering a big issue to tackle

Through our observations of global best practice, we have seen that multiple organisations joining forces to address a single societal issue are delivering more effective and scalable shared value.  Our Shared Value Framework has been instrumental in narrowing our people’s focus to the societal challenges where IAG is best placed to have an impact.  While the Framework remains relevant, we have recognised what we can achieve by galvanising our people, partners and other stakeholders behind a single societal issue.

We listened to over 2,500 people and heard that they don’t feel as connected as they once did, and this has affected the confidence and resilience they need to deal with life’s unknowns.  Having toured eight of Australia’s urban, regional and rural areas asking community and resilience experts what resilience means and what it takes to create more of it in a community, we have been exploring how we could work collaboratively to create a nation ready for anything.

It makes sense for us to help communities be more resilient.  We believe we have a role to play in supporting individuals and communities when something goes wrong, and identifying ways we can reduce incidents happening in the first place.  By helping make communities safer, and by developing new products, services and adjacent commercial opportunities, we can reduce the impact of events and natural disasters, which helps society, and reduces claims costs.

Looking ahead

These innovation enablers, combined with a firm focus on our purpose and strategic business priorities, are improving the way we innovate at the intersection between complex social problems and business opportunities.  The more we look at business-aligned social challenges from different angles, listen to our stakeholders, evaluate social and business impacts and cross-pollinate our learnings, the more likely it is that we will find the right shared value opportunities to scale.


For more information on IAG’s approach to creating shared value, visit the IAG website.

Read Lee McDougall’s Shared Value Champions interview


Image credit: IAG