Innovation

We recognize that the world is changing, and changing quickly. While our long-term financial strategy is not changing, the competitive advantages that have fueled our success over the last decade will not necessarily be the same as those we will need to continue to lead for the next decade. That is the focus of our innovation agenda: making sure that our competitive advantages are as relevant and differentiating tomorrow as they are today. Ultimately, the vision for our innovation agenda is to be the undeniable choice for the customer and an indispensable partner for our agents and brokers.

APPROACH
 
Approach

Travelers delivers consistently superior risk management solutions that help customers of all types identify, mitigate and recover from a wide variety of emerging and existing risks and hazards to achieve their personal and financial goals. As one of the United States' largest multi-line insurers, we continually invest in data, analytics and technology to make our processes more efficient and effective to better serve our customers and maintain our competitive edge.

Our competitive advantages set Travelers apart; they are foundational to the success of our long-term financial strategy. Nonetheless, we understand clearly that the world is changing, and changing quickly. Broadly speaking, we see four significant forces of change impacting our industry:

Forces of Change

We are pursuing an ambitious innovation agenda that is focused intently on these forces of change and is designed to ensure that our competitive advantages remain relevant and differentiating to drive our long-term success.

 We believe the winners in our industry will be those with deep domain expertise who can continue to deliver industry-leading results while innovating successfully on top of a foundation of excellence. To ensure that we keep pace with the accelerating pace of demographic, economic, technological and cultural change in today’s consumer and business environment, we have adopted a focused approach to innovation as a business discipline. Our Chief Innovation Officer oversees a dedicated team of innovation specialists, who focus on championing and supporting experimentation across the enterprise and enable connections to new capabilities in external ecosystems. The Travelers iCouncil, a working group of senior leaders, oversees innovation initiatives across the enterprise.

Our perform and transform mindset, discussed in our Chairman and CEO’s message, and our culture of innovation have become important parts of our DNA. We are pursuing innovation in service of our vision to be the undeniable choice for the customer and an indispensable partner to our agents and brokers. In support of that vision, we have established three priorities: extend our advantage in risk expertise; provide great experiences for our customers, agents and brokers; and optimize our productivity and efficiency.

  • Extend our advantage in risk expertise. Understanding risk, and the products and services our customers need to manage risk, has been foundational to our success for decades. Core to that is our ability to balance the science and art of risk-based decision making based on data and analytics. That skill set requires a combination of deep expertise and a special culture that values collaboration and long-term success. It is an important competitive advantage developed over a long period of time and one we believe is very difficult to replicate. We continue to extend our advantage by investing in areas like predictive modeling, advanced analytics, robotic process automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and new products.
  • Provide great experiences for our customers, agents and brokers. Across all of our businesses, we are focused on becoming faster, easier, nimbler, more digital, more mobile and more personalized. When we think there is a proprietary advantage, we invest in building these capabilities ourselves. In other cases, we partner with, invest in or acquire organizations — both established businesses and startups — to bring these great experiences to market more efficiently. Both approaches have resulted in new and enhanced capabilities such as on‑demand Certificates of Insurance for Small Commercial accounts, virtual home and auto inspections, pre-claim loss consultation, and rapid and increasingly on-the-spot digital claim payments, to name a few.
  • Optimize productivity and efficiency. We are continuously working to optimize our productivity and efficiency to enhance our operating leverage. We primarily do this through investment in technology and improving workflow. Enhanced operating leverage provides us with the flexibility to let the savings fall to the bottom line, reinvest the savings and/or compete on price without compromising our return objectives.
TRAVELERS AS A
LEARNING ORGANIZATION
Travelers as a Learning Organization

As a well-established insurer with a long-standing commitment to learning and deep industry expertise, we believe that our employees and the knowledge and insight they bring to serving our customers underlie all of our key competitive advantages. We combine this human expertise with data and analytic tools to quickly identify emerging risks and loss trends and better serve our customers.

We have many ways of gaining insight into emerging risks and opportunities. For example, we continually evaluate new technologies, evolving risks, loss trends and changes in consumer behavior, including at our research and training facilities — Claim University, the National Catastrophe Center and the Risk Control Industrial Hygiene and Forensics Laboratories. Sharing what we learn with our underwriters helps them better select and price risks and develop products and services to address emerging risks and meet customer needs. These learnings also give our Risk Control professionals a competitive edge, allowing them to work effectively with customers to identify their occupational risks and mitigate and manage exposures to loss — thereby improving their employees’ safety and wellness as well as their own business results. Finally, these insights enable our Claim professionals to help our customers recover from losses quickly and efficiently when losses do happen. We also share our insights with our customers and the public through our agent and broker partners, Prepare & Prevent website and Risk Control Customer Portal. All of this is good for our customers and good for our business.

BUILDING AN
INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
Building an Innovation Ecosystem

We have established an internal innovation ecosystem to develop the key capabilities we need for the future by leveraging the best from both inside and outside our company. In collaboration with our innovation team, business leaders from each business line and functional area take ownership of crafting the innovation objectives for their respective business line. Within these business lines and functional areas, Travelers employs hundreds of subject matter experts, technology specialists and data and analytics professionals. They are focused on bringing innovations to market that will position Travelers for long-term future success.

Our Innovation Evangelist Network, which is composed of innovation leaders, includes representatives from every business line and function across our enterprise. To further enable collaboration, Travelers deployed new digital tools that assist groups throughout the organization to communicate, share knowledge and build communities and to keep track of startup intelligence, activities and engagement. A recent two-day Innovation Jam — a rapid-design hackathon event that drew together over 600 participants on 120 cross-functional teams in 6 global locations — set a memorable highpoint for our innovation agenda in 2018.

The Travelers Innovation Center (TIC) is another key component of our innovation ecosystem. It fosters business and technology innovation by providing a test and learn environment, coaching, targeted expertise and a physical location that enables collaboration and rapid experimentation. The TIC serves as a:

  • business idea incubator, exhibiting the dynamics of a startup, where fast-moving teams are empowered to iterate on ideas that generate new and incremental business value;
  • technology and foundational incubator, allowing for the research and incubation of emerging/disruptive technology, new software tools and foundational capabilities that can benefit future innovation efforts;
  • culture incubator, demonstrating entrepreneurial values, collaborative behaviors and co-creation processes that enable customer-led and rapid business value delivery; and
  • practice incubator, assisting with best-in-class training and development of modern software techniques and execution practices to deliver faster business value with lower risk to the business.

The TIC’s emerging technologies research and design services help Travelers solve critical business problems and execute our innovation agenda.

Our innovation ecosystem extends beyond our four walls. We have numerous partnerships with incubators, such as Plug and Play, an innovation platform that brings together startups and some of the world’s largest corporations, and Startupbootcamp, which supports startups with direct access to an international network of mentors, partners and investors to help them scale. Through these partnerships, we gain early access to startups, as well as the opportunity to help them develop solutions to some of the issues facing our industry. Travelers is also a member of the Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative started by a group of executives from the Hartford area, including from the insurance industry; City of Hartford representatives; and several other community stakeholders. The goal of the group is to develop a local innovation ecosystem supported by local resources, capabilities and talent, in which insurance technology startups can grow and flourish. Our participation in the Hartford InsurTech Hub is an investment in our communities and in our business.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
& SERVICES
Innovative Products & Services

The forces of change in our industry present not only risk but significant opportunities. Here are some examples of how we have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by the forces of change.

Innovative Products & Services

Personal Insurance

Amazon Smart Home Services

  • Collaboration with Amazon to provide Travelers customers with smart home kits that include security cameras; water sensors; motion detectors with multi-sensor capabilities; smart home hub that wirelessly connects a wide range of smart devices and enables them to work together; and an Amazon Echo Dot.
  • Learn more>

TraverseSM

  • A first-of-its-kind personal insurance product designed for consumers who may not need a traditional homeowners policy.
  • Designed to meet millennials’ needs.
  • Serves as an alternative to renters insurance by including personal liability coverage that meets most landlord requirements.
  • Offers identity theft coverage and protects things like mobile phones, laptops, musical instruments, jewelry and even some vacation experiences.
  • A completely digital offering; customers can buy policies, make policy changes and submit claims — all online.
  • Learn more>

Quantum Home 2.0®

  • Digital tool that provides greater customization, fewer steps to complete a quote and simplified customer communications.
  • Designed in close collaboration with our agent partners.
  • Increases efficiency for agents while helping them to deliver better service and drive new business.
  • Learn more>
Distribution

Simply Business Acquisition

  • Acquired by Travelers and operates as a stand-alone business.
  • A growing technology company with a proven business model to enhance the insurance buying experience for microbusiness owners; the Simply Business business model aligns with Travelers' efforts to simplify the small commercial insurance transaction and make it more efficient.
  • Offers products online on behalf of a broad panel of carriers.
  • Has more than 475,000 microbusiness and landlord customers, representing more than 1,000 classes of business.
  • Learn more>

Zensurance Investment

  • Travelers took a majority ownership stake in this fin-tech startup in 2018.
  • A Toronto-based digital provider of online insurance solutions for small businesses.
  • Uses data and analytics to identify the most common risks that small businesses face and designs insurance packages best suited for their respective industries.
  • A natural fit with our Simply Business team, further adding to our digital capabilities and medium-term strategic positioning to serve small and microbusinesses.
  • Offers business insurance online on behalf of a broad panel of carriers in Canada.
  • Learn more>
Claim

Aerial Imagery and Virtual Damage Estimating

  • High-resolution aerial imagery can be combined with geospatial mapping tools and virtual damage estimating programs to accurately identify damaged properties and begin developing damage estimates before insurance adjusters can safely enter affected areas.

Catastrophe Response Staffing Strategy

  • Extensive employee cross-training and advanced workforce management programs enable Travelers to respond quickly and effectively to large-scale weather events without disruption or use of third-party adjusting firms, supporting operational effectiveness and customer experience.
  • Learn more>

Digital Tools for Orthopaedic Injuries Pilot

  • Collaboration with Cedars-Sinai, Samsung Electronics America, Bayer and appliedVR to explore the effectiveness of a digital pain-reduction kit that uses therapeutic virtual reality (VR) and wearable technology as a non-pharmacological supplement to managing pain associated with acute orthopaedic injuries of the lower back and extremities.
  • Learn more>

Drones in Property Inspection

  • Widespread use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) in property damage inspections speeds claim inspection and resolution times; approximately 98% of all Personal Insurance claims were closed within 30 days when a drone was used during the inspection process, as compared to 92% when a drone was not utilized.
  • Widespread use of drones enhances customer experience and increases employee safety.
  • About 650 FAA-certified drone pilots conducted 20,000 flights in 2018.
  • Travelers was the first insurer to develop a drone training program and assisted with developing FAA regulations for commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems.

Early Severity Predictor®

  • Travelers proprietary Early Severity Predictor® model identifies injured employees at a greater risk to decompensate into chronic pain and therefore opioid addiction, allowing us to help them by recommending appropriate medical and behavioral interventions.

Injured Employee Portal

  • Digital portal empowers injured employees to take an active role in their own claim and medical recoveries by accessing relevant claim and medical information and resources.

Loss Consultation

  • Innovative workflow gives customers the option of becoming better informed about coverage, deductibles, impact to loss history and the claim process prior to filing an insurance claim.

Virtual Inspection Tools for Auto and Property Claims

  • AI-based platforms can quickly and accurately estimate damages without the need for an in-person inspection.
Risk Control

Construction Vibration App

  • Smartphone-based app ZoneCheckSM helps construction companies understand how site activities can impact ground vibration and help to identify related risks to nearby structures.

Forensics and Digital Forensics Laboratories

  • Forensics lab staffed by more than 60 scientists and engineers with backgrounds in chemistry, metallurgy, materials science, fire forensics and construction brings analytical rigor to identifying how losses occurred and who or what is responsible.
  • Specialized digital forensics lab staffed by digital forensic specialists enables Travelers to ingest, preserve and analyze digital data from any source, including the web, social media and smart devices.

Risk Control
On Demand
®

  • Virtual safety consulting platform enables customers to access our network of safety specialists in real-time. Customers can upload digital media and collaborate with consultants around the globe to evaluate occupational hazards and design and implement safety improvements.

Key Initiatives

Our Drivers of Sustained Value

Business Strategy & Competitive Advantages
Capital &
Risk Management
Climate
Strategy
Community
Customer
Experience
Data Privacy &
Cybersecurity
Disaster Preparedness
& Response
Diversity &
Inclusion
Eco-Efficient
Operations
Ethics &
Values
Governance
Human Capital
Management
Innovation
Investment
Management
Public Policy
Safety &
Health