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The PZU Group’s Innovation Lab has been providing support to all businesses run by Poland’s largest insurer in deploying state-of-the-art technologies and solutions.
“Digitization is a trend that has been followed by insurance companies for several years. The Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated the digital revolution among insurers who have become even more willing to roll out solutions provided by startups,” says Artur Kurcweil, Managing Director of Digitization at PZU.
Every 6 out of 10 insurance undertakings have already established their own innovation teams. The Innovation Lab was established by PZU several years ago and has since been coordinating the cooperation of Poland’s largest insurer with startups. For the last three years, staff at the Innovation Lab have reviewed more than 5,000 ideas, of which 40 have been approved for the pilot stage and over 25 have been selected for deployment in close cooperation with representatives of PZU Group businesses. In aggregate, they have generated savings of tens of millions of Euros. Every year, over 150 staff are involved in the deployment of innovations at PZU.
“In order to recap our endeavors of recent years in rolling out innovative solutions in the PZU Group, we have prepared a report “PZU Ready for Startups”. In it, we have taken a closer look at the insurtech market across the world, in Europe and in Poland. We have described our own experiences and come up with certain suggestions for a successful cooperation between large corporations and startups,” adds Marcin Kurczab, Director of Innovation in charge of the Innovation Lab. The PZU Group is guided by principles that facilitate the search for and rollout of state-of-the-art solutions:
· Innovations are deployed in close cooperation with business owners and with particular emphasis on solutions that enable and improve digitization, new interactions with clients, advanced analytics and solutions in the Employer 2.0 category
· Pilot projects are expected to be executed quickly, efficiently and with reasonably minimal expenditures in order to be able to test as many ideas as possible
· Innovative projects are associated with a high degree of risk, hence failures are embedded in the model. However, they do not discourage new attempts but provide a valuable lesson for the future
· Innovation is not only about specific solutions – part of the deal is also the proper approach and way of thinking
The new PZU Group Strategy for 2021-2024 calls for PLN 100 million in annual expenditures on investments in such areas as digitization, use of knowledge about clients, deployment of an integrated CRM system and analysis of client expectations and satisfaction. The PZU Group will continue to increase the extent of application of artificial intelligence and process automation in its business.
PZU has already benefited from a number of cases of successful cooperation with startups. PZU has been applying artificial intelligence solutions provided by Tractable in claims handling. WebTotem helps PZU verify level of cybersecurity in small and medium-sized companies. Sidly provides bands of life that support medics in their efforts aimed at treating patients infected with the coronavirus. Within the framework of the PZU Ready for Startups program, Poland’s largest insurer invites technology startups not only from Poland, but also from across the world, to establish a successful cooperation. For such startups, partnership with PZU provides an opportunity to run a pilot rollout of their solutions by the largest financial institution in Central and Eastern Europe, trusted by millions of clients in five countries.