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Lloyd’s Wordings Hackathon

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has presented to the global insurance industry have demonstrated the need to think and organise around systemic risk. That is why Lloyd’s has launched Futureset: a global platform and community designed to create and share risk insight, intelligence and expertise.

One of the major challenges that emerged from the fallout of COVID-19 was the clear expectation gap between insurers and customers. The confusion and loss of confidence this can lead to highlights the urgency with which the global insurance industry must focus on clarifying and simplifying its products in order to improve customer understanding of their coverage.

The Lloyd’s Wordings Hackathon represents one of our latest efforts to promote engagement and innovation across the industry with the goal of advancing product simplification.

Event summary

The Lloyd’s Wordings Hackathon was an online event held to look at the effectiveness of product documentation and encourage innovation that can support better customer understanding and outcomes in the market. In total, 52 people took part across 8 teams, with five expert judges determining the winners.

Participants were asked to interrogate a policy wording, recreate a claims scenario through role play, and demonstrate how they would simplify its content and format in order to improve clarity and remove ambiguity. The wordings explored at the Hackathon were UK Commercial Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) combined insurance policies that included a Business Interruption (BI) section. This was specifically chosen to address the real-world problems faced by smaller-scale customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We received a lot of positive and constructive feedback from the event attendees, as highlighted in the following insightful quotes:

Key findings

The key findings of the event confirm that the presentation and content of insurance documentation directly impacts the end customer’s comprehension. This, in turn, can lead to an expectation gap between the coverage insurers believe they have sold, and the coverage customers believe they have bought.

The major conclusions drawn from the event were as follows:

  1. Clauses in policy wordings are often unnecessarily complex and can be simplified by methodically noting what the intention of each individual section of coverage is in an existing product and then re-drafting in plain English as concisely as possible. The most effective way to improve customer outcomes is to clearly convey the insurance cover to policyholders in a language they understand, moreover in short, easy to understand sentences.
  2. Many teams highlighted that signposting, the use of colour coding and easily recognisable icons can vastly improve the visual impact of policy wordings which can generate positive first impressions.
  3. The use of digital contracts with hyperlinks, ‘hover over’ definitions and tailored documents that do not include sections of cover that are not applicable to the policyholder can help to improve customers’ understanding of their policy.
  4. Several teams opted to re-write policies from scratch rather than adapting original policy wordings allowing for improved presentation and fresh, innovative features
  5. Other common themes included BI calculator / examples of workings (mentioned by three teams) and tailored policy wordings which considered the removal of sections of cover that the policyholder has not opted for.

From this analysis, our participants were able to generate many innovative ideas aimed towards product simplification. For greater insight into the content of these recommendations and to see the winners of our three award categories, download the full Wordings Hackathon Report below.