It’s no secret that the insurance industry has historically been one of the slowest to adopt technology.
The arrival of the pandemic last year propelled the insurance industry into a virtual era, causing insurers to scramble to adopt new technology and rethink the digital customer experience. However, the industry still faces many hurdles in this area, including:
Distrust arising when customers learned their policies did not cover COVID-related health and business issues
Frustration when customers could not easily contact insurers to answer their policy-related questions
Disappointment in the delay to offer new insurance solutions to bridge the gap
Anxious customers who now feel they are not covered for future emergencies
Increased distance felt by customers who previously had negative insurance experiences, but now feel more disconnected from their providers due to the lack of coverage
These hurdles, along with pre-existing negative perceptions of the overall industry, have put a spotlight on what may now be the industry’s biggest challenge in 2021: delivering an exceptional digital customer experience to retain those it promised to protect.
Why Does It Matter?
Insurance was born from community spirit, where many came together to protect the losses of a few individuals. Especially over the last century, this spirit has been lost in the pursuit of profitable business models and highly regulated market. Insurers have not generally succeeded in establishing a meaningful relationship with customers leading to loyalty, and without a massive turnaround in digital strategy, insurers risk losing customers and irreversibly damaging the industry’s reputation further.
As last week’s court ruling in the UK shows, customers have spent months fighting insurers for pandemic coverage (in this case, to secure business interruption payments). The general sentiment in the market is not positive, and in an already-competitive landscape, insurers must do everything they can to ensure their customers have a better experience this year.
Can an Improved Digital Experience Help?
In short, yes, and it has already begun to show positive impact. Global market research company Ipsos recently surveyed 2,500 insurance customers from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, and found that customers placed the highest value on the speed of processing policies and claims online when selecting a carrier. In places such as Australia, where purchasing a private health insurance policy is not optional, efforts to create a smooth and positive experience can reduce resentment in customers who view insurance as a forced expenditure.
The challenge is to create a more personalized experience while employing digital platforms — after all, the objective is to preserve human interaction where it is most impactful. A good example of a personalized digital interaction is a video consultation with an advisor at the time of purchase, which allows new policyholders to get answers specific to their unique situations. On the other hand, removing the need for a wet signature will speed up the process favorably, and so replacing human interaction with a digital signature would prove effective in this case.
So, Where Do I Begin?
While the strategy will vary from organization to organization, we recommend starting by connecting with your customers and hearing their perspectives. How do customers feel about your organization’s current experience? What are they saying on social media and to customer service representatives? If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is Stage 1 of the Design Thinking methodology: Empathize. Often, customers are seen as numbers (or data) — numbers of calls answered, premiums calculated, or policies underwritten — and not human beings with unique lives, jobs, and dreams. When creating a strategy, is it important to consider those who will be most impacted; in this case, it is the customer.
Collecting customer insights is another process where human interaction is impactful. Observing the customer’s body language and tone can provide additional insight into how the customer really feels and can help insurers identify specific areas of the current experience that may be distressing or difficult. Once those insights are available, it’s time to innovate!
Perhaps 2021 will be the year that the industry can improve customer perceptions and prove that it is here to provide support and peace of mind. Will this be the year that insurers return to their community-driven roots?
We will cross our fingers and wait to find out!
Let us help you reinvent your digital customer experience. Check out our innovation consulting services, such as our Design Thinking Sprints, where our Certified Innovation Experts will guide your teams to develop a human-centered solution that satisfies what your customers actually want.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
— Steve Jobs
Innovation is a word that has been used over and over in the last years. Everyone wants to be innovative; everyone wants to launch an innovative solution, and everyone wants innovation all around. The interesting part about these wants is that most people expecting innovation expect it fast, easy and comfortable, when really it requires patience, patience and patience! Innovation requires patience to move through the interviews and research phase; patience to embrace the failings during testing phases and learning how to accept feedback; and patience to step out of the comfort zone.
I have spoken to many people who visit our innovation lab and many mention the disappointment they have experienced when it comes to innovation, the frustration with the design methodologies and working with teams, and the pain of seeing ideas change over and over through testing phases. Yes! Not so pleasant descriptions. And these descriptions come from top down. It is no coincidence they first questions they ask are, “Can you help us get to an innovative place and help us understand what we are doing wrong?” and “Can you help our team understand why we are not coming up with innovative ideas?”.
Of course we can!
What is innovation about?
What does innovation mean to you? The most popular answers are new, fun, useful, building from something old and make it new. No matter which way we look at them, all the above require a set of fundamental steps like:
Research (to understand the problem and what already exists)
Listen with human-centric mindset (to understand the need)
Test (to understand usefulness) and
Remain open to change (to either create something new or shift on something that already exists)
In a nutshell, innovation is about being open to change based on research, testing, etc. And let’s be honest, that word “change” is not something that people are always excited to do, especially when there is uncertainty, which you know exists when working in innovation. Being open leads to accepting the fact that to create this amazing product, service, or idea, one must be prepared to change rapidly and often. And experiencing change leads, in most cases and at some point, to hitting a wall of (as most people relate to innovation) frustration and pain. But why the frustration and pain? And why, many times, giving up? Well, because we forget about the most important element in innovation. YOU!
What is the most forgotten and overlooked element in innovation?
The most forgotten element in the journey of creativity and creating something new is the HUMAN and all that comes with it. Let’s break it down: we know that to be able to create something ground-breaking, we have to be open to uncertainty and change. We already know that for most of us humans, those words most often lead to fear. Then how can we expect to create anything revolutionary when we forget the human side of innovation? That involves you, the team member and/or you, the team leader and/or you, the decision maker. No matter what your role is in an innovative journey, you must be aware of your human side, which includes mindset, attitude, behaviors, and patterns. In summary, it asks that we remember that we are human and, based on our day and how we are feeling in the moment when we are working on our solutions, innovation and creativity will be impacted. Therefore, it is vital to remember this important fact – the human side.
How can one unlock and embrace the human side of innovation? Empathy and Courage
Empathy! Not only is it important to have empathy for customers when using creative methodologies, it is also vital to practice empathy with your team members and yourself. Empathy will organically create a safe place for creativity to show up and live.
Courage! Have the courage to trust the process; time and time again, we hear stories of creative minds solving problems and creating pioneering solutions. These creations happen when the team trust a process that is proven, even though the path to the answer is not clear, and when the team move past fear and doubt and into an uncomfortable place of trust.
In summary …
Accept that sometimes you and/or your team will have bad days, not because of the project or because of the team, but because you or one of the team members may be going through a challenging time on a personal level, or perhaps there are limiting beliefs that are blocking the flow of creativity. Perhaps it is the first time you allow yourself to trust a new process. Regardless of the reason why – the answer is patience.
“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by discomforts.”
— Arnold Bennett
Want more insights from our Lead Innovation Coach?
Join our upcoming free 1-hour Introduction to Design Thinking session, where Coach Ibeth will walk you through the first 2 key steps to get you moving to an innovative idea. Check out this session and other global opportunities on our 2021 Events Calendar here!
Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with WinterHack 2020 Winner, Team EMIL-Hannover Re. I asked Dr. Lorenz Kemper (Hannover Re) and Henrik Dittmar (EMIL Group Gmbh) to share behind-the-scenes stories and advice from their WinterHack 2020 experience — check out the full interview below!
Team EMIL-Hannover Re, congratulations on your huge success at WinterHack 2020! Before we dive into the event, let’s do a quick round of introductions first.
Lorenz: I have been working as a Data Scientist at Hannover Re for 2 years now. Just recently, I became the first member of the Hannover Re Digital Accelerator, where I am responsible for the technical aspects in a team that works with insurers, digital insurers, and InsurTechs to get them going globally.
Henrik: I am the Head of Product at EMIL Group. We’re a technology company that helps insurance companies quickly launch innovative products.
Thank you for the introductions! We’d love to know, what inspired you to join WinterHack 2020?
Lorenz: When I heard about WinterHack, I thought it was a great place to meet like-minded people and network to meet possible corporate partners from other parts of the InsurTech industry, such as a primary insurer or technology provider.
Henrik: Since we provide software for insurers and reinsurers, it’s essential for us to collaborate with them and see how they are thinking, especially when it comes to innovation. Networking, of course, is a motivator, but we really want to know how insurers and reinsurers approach innovation.
Speaking of collaboration, this was your first time meeting one another. How did you connect and how was the experience of working together?
Lorenz: We hit it off on a personal note very quickly. We actually met before the event for a quick call to get to know one another and to get on the same page. We talked about our backgrounds and our goals for the event, and in that initial call, we decided we wanted to have fun but also win the competition!
Henrik: It was a fun 2 days, which has a lot to do with the team. In our case, that meant Lorenz as our teammate! We started out on the same page and worked well from the beginning, which was really nice.
It’s always great hearing about successful collaborations! Diving into your solution now, which of the 4 challenges did you choose to tackle and what was your idea?
Lorenz: This is a funny story — the jury panel thought we were tackling the challenge of loneliness for the elderly, but what we were really focusing on was digital subscription models!
Henrik: Our solution was an app that integrates many tools and services from around the digital world and makes them accessible to senior citizens, so I understand how the confusion happened! It was all about combining these easy-to-use services in an app as an entryway into the digital world for senior citizens.
How was your experience using Design Thinking to develop this solution?
Lorenz: Design Thinking was a good way to encourage customer-centric thinking, especially because none of us are a customer group. We used Design Thinking to empathize with the customer, but we actually didn’t use all of the tools. We cherry-picked within the toolbox of Design Thinking to select the best tools that would help us reach our goal, such as the Persona, Empathy Map, and Journey Map, and decided very quickly what product we wanted to pitch.
Henrik: The target group focus in the Design Thinking approach is very essential in today’s world, especially when it comes to innovation and developing something the target group actually wants. It was very helpful for us to get into the mindset of the user group and start from there. Our general approach was to get to the prototyping stage very early, and so we chose the tools that went along with that. We wanted to create the solution quickly and test it by having the prototype ready, creating a landing page, and seeing how people would react when they saw the page, which is how we chose to validate it.
On that note, what else do you believe contributed to your overall success at WinterHack 2020?
Lorenz: Because we were a small team, we were really quick and well-coordinated. Everyone took charge of certain tasks quickly and owned them. We were very clear on who was responsible for each task and relied on them to do a great job.
Henrik: Our focus on prototyping the solution early helped us create something that in the end, when the judges saw it, conveyed the usefulness of the idea in real-life. As much of a bubble as these 2 days were, that’s what they were trying to evaluate — how much would this idea make sense outside of this context?
Looking back at the event, how would you describe your overall experience?
Lorenz: For me, it was fun and broadened my perspective in many ways. I was surprised at how much we were able to get done in 2 days. I was also quite surprised that we were able to hit a personal note even though we had never met before! This was new to me, because I felt this year that it would be difficult to really connect with other people via Zoom, but I think we were able to do that quite effectively. It was a big learning for me!
Henrik: There was a lot to do in 2 days and we worked through it quite well as a team, which made it really enjoyable. Our skillsets matched up very well with all of the tasks we had to do!
As you know, at Cookhouse Labs our mission is to #MakeInsuranceBetter for everyone! How do you think your solution and events like WinterHack 2020 help achieve this?
Lorenz: In a way, our product has the same characteristics as what makes insurance better. Our product aims to bring technology to the elderly, who typically are not the primary users of technology but could benefit from it. Technology can improve their lives and make things much easier for them. In the same way, the industry is not typically the first to take up digital ideas and technology. However, it is an industry that is predestined to make use of technology, and in this way, we can make insurance better.
Henrik: Historically, insurance has been a slow industry, especially when it comes to product innovation. It takes a very long time to launch an insurance product. Changing this mindset is one thing that events like WinterHack encourage, and this is our goal at EMIL, too. We want to make it technologically possible to launch new products, but this only works if we can bring the insurers we work with into the mindset to launch new products quickly. These types of industry events create the sensibility for innovation in a short time and make the process of quickly launching new products possible.
Team EMIL-Hannover Re, thank you for an insightful interview and congratulations once again on your big win at WinterHack 2020. We wish you the best and hope to see this collaboration continue in the future!
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Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with WinterHack 2020 Runner-Up, Team Munich Re. I chatted with Abhishek Gupta, Calvin Choi, Joanna A., Salman Ghaffar, and Tommy Kim about the process of developing their innovative solution and invited them to reflect on their experience and success at the global ideathon.
Team Munich Re, congratulations on your big win! Before we begin, let’s start with a quick intro. What can you tell us about yourselves in 30 seconds?
Abhishek: I’m a Business Development Manager for IoT in the Applied Technology Division at HSB Canada. I focus on commercializing sensor and IoT technology here in Canada, which includes water, temp, and pipe sensors.
Calvin: I’m a Data Analyst within the Client Company Management Team at HSB Canada. My role involves assisting Client Company Managers with data to build compelling stories about why clients should work with us.
Joanna: I’m a Marketing Communications Specialist at HSB Canada with a focus on branding and digital marketing. It’s been a rewarding journey for me as a marketer, being part of a team that encourages intrapreneurship, and a company that’s innovative, technologically driven, forward thinking, and people focused.
Salman: I also work in the Applied Technology Division at HSB Canada as an IoT Operations Specialist. We bring solutions from the U.S. to implement in the Canadian market, and my responsibility is to ensure everything goes smoothly, from bringing in the solution hardware to installing it at client locations.
Tommy: I’m from Munich Re Company of Canada, which is a life, property, and casualty business. My current role is a Senior Actuarial Analyst from the Pricing team, and my day-to-day responsibilities include supporting the Reinsurance business with actuarial services.
Great, thank you for the introductions! We’d love to know, how did you come together and what inspired you to join WinterHack 2020?
Abhishek: I was looking for an amazing and super talented team with lots of brainpower! I came across one of our champions from MRoC, Tommy Kim, who is great to work with. I found more talented people from our organization: Calvin, who is a new member of HSB Canada and was very excited about the ideathon; Salman, who is our IoT Specialist and is incredibly talented; and Joanna, who brought everything together from a marketing perspective.
Calvin: What motivated me was the space for people to come together to innovate in the insurance industry. If you think about it, the industry has always been resistant to innovation and change, so if there’s an opportunity to work with like-minded people on innovative ideas and solutions that can help develop the industry, I’m all for it.
Joanna: Abhishek was putting together a team to represent Munich Re at WinterHack 2020 and he reached out. The theme “Digital Ecosystems” was a huge driver for me to join the team. As a marketer, I’m always thinking of innovative and better ways to do business, so it was a good fit.
Salman: I’ve been a part of QHacks, which is hosted by Queens University, so I understood how hackathons work. Considering WinterHack 2020 was going to be held remotely, I was a little inquisitive as well about how it would go, and that motivated me to participate.
Tommy: What inspired me to join was the passion from my colleagues. It’s always difficult for an individual to get something done, but the synergy that Abhi brought into one team was definitely a great inspiration.
That’s awesome! Let’s dive further into the event: Which of the 4 challenges did you choose to tackle and how did you decide?
Abhishek: We chose the first challenge, which was to reduce isolation and loneliness for elderly people. It was quite a deliberation process — we spent about 60% of our workday just on choosing the challenge! We created a matrix with parameters and every single team member scored the challenges from 1 to 5 based on these parameters. We used a weighted average to select the challenge we were going to work on. We realized later on that everyone on our team is very empathetic, when we all understood pain points for the elderly and how our solution can really help them.
Tommy: I really love the fact that we were able to share our thoughts and visions for each challenge. It’s fantastic that Abhi proposed the matrix we used, because at the end, we were very objective in how we selected a challenge.
Could you describe your experience using Design Thinking to develop your solution?
Abhishek: Design Thinking is a different way of thinking when creating a product, and as a team, we understood how important it was. I’d say Calvin and Salman did an incredible job creating a customer journey map that detailed each point in the journey. Salman shared with us that his mother’s age is similar to our Persona, and his understanding of her experience really helped us.
Calvin: We really focused on being empathetic to what the customer journey would look like. On the other hand, we also focused on practicality and how the company could benefit from a product like ours. We made sure to empathize with both sides when designing this product.
Joanna: Design Thinking is the way to go. You simply can’t develop a solution without empathizing with your customer, and building on that is key. Design Thinking flows in that direction. It’s logical and efficient.
Salman: My mother is a single parent who is a similar age and I’ve seen her struggles and how she feels about technology at this age, and it was really helpful in drafting our journey map. We wanted to address those needs and bring the human touch to our solution, because at the end of the day, technology cannot replace the human touch.
What do you believe contributed to your success at WinterHack 2020?
Abhishek: The biggest factor behind our success was bringing together amazing people. Joanna brought her marketing perspective to create a credible product offering. Calvin and Salman had a streamlined approach to empathizing with the customer and creating the journey map. Tommy brought his actuarial skills, and he was very focused on the commercialization aspect and feasibility of our idea. It was all about bringing together the synergies of different talented people.
Calvin: We all tried to see things from each other’s point of view. We took the time to listen to and understand everyone’s ideas. I think that also contributed hugely to our success.
Salman: I agree completely — all the credit goes to the team. This is one of the best team experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone brought in their skillsets while remaining open-minded and respectful towards others’ ideas. If there was a difference in opinion, we used thoughtful discussions to sort through the pros and cons of each idea and to decide on the best way forward.
Tommy: What worked well was the synergy based on trust and open-mindedness. I also have to upsell the support we got from Cookhouse Labs: the templates guided us in the right direction on how to develop and present our solution in the end, so thank you!
How would you describe your overall WinterHack 2020 experience?
Abhishek: It’s been fabulous! Previously, we had an opportunity to participate in the SummerHack, which was again a wonderful experience. WinterHack, I would say, was a notch higher for us because when everyone came together, we fit like a glove. Even though we all came from different experiences and backgrounds, everyone was respectful and open-minded. I also have to say that the event was amazingly organized by Cookhouse Labs. You gave us all the design templates and guidance we needed, and I really want to thank the whole team for helping us along the way.
Calvin: It was a lot of fun for me, because we were on the same page and everyone was very encouraging. I would say, though, that at the end it got a little stressful, because we raced to get everything done on time. Cookhouse Labs did a great job making this a very seamless and smooth process, and even when we got to the Final Pitch Event, I had a great time listening to everyone’s pitches. I noticed some pitches applied cultural aspects from the region the team was in, and this international aspect was cool to see.
Salman: Spending two days together almost felt like a family! It was a wonderful experience, and we had a lot of fun. When signing up for WinterHack, I was curious about the entirely virtual experience and how it would be managed. Cookhouse Labs did an amazing job with sharing resources and guiding teams through all the steps, so thank you!
Tommy: Having judges with a lot of professional expertise and knowledge was great. Also, the event format was virtual, which was a nice experience to be part of. Before COVID-19, I would have never thought of being part of a virtual competition because I would have wanted to feel the synergy and energy within the same room and in-person. However, virtual collaboration was not a barrier for our team, which was a wonderful experience.
How do you think your solution and events like this help #MakeInsuranceBetter?
Abhishek: Using methodologies like Design Thinking promotes lateral thinking, and the time crunch fosters and accelerates the kind of thinking needed to create a viable product. At the end of the day, something we create here has the potential to become a real insurance product. We observed the judges’ interest and our organization’s enthusiasm for this idea, which means this idea could very soon become a real product offering.
Calvin: Insurance products, with respect to P&C or personal lines, are generally similar across the industry. How can companies set themselves apart from the rest? Usually, this is through value-adds that they can provide to policyholders. When companies want to compete for customers, they need to think of these creative value-adds to provide to policyholders. The product we came up with is a nice example of a value-add that a home or life insurer can provide, and this can set them apart from other insurers. This is what makes the difference between one company and another.
Joanna: Events like this open the floor for thinking outside the box and innovating, and when you combine innovation with Design Thinking and its focus on empathy, you make insurance better.
Salman: I’m a strong advocate for using technology to push the envelope further. What we see is that the insurance industry is late to adopt technological trends. An event like this helps to change this perception and helps companies in the ecosystem realize the importance of technology in improving their products for the end-user. Even further, it helps adopt these technological solutions and advance the industry as a whole.
Tommy: The perspective towards the insurance industry is that it is very reactive, not proactive. These events encourage the industry to become proactive and offering meaningful services to customers, which is progress.
Team Munich Re, thank you so much for sharing your insights with our readers and congratulations once again on your big win at WinterHack 2020. We wish you the best going forward and hope to see your solution come to life as a real product offering in the near future!
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Over the course of 2 days, we provided small business owners withlive access to expert knowledge, resources, and community support to aid them as they return #BackToBusiness during these challenging times. The session topics were selected based on key business areas that owners had expressed interest in learning more about. Our team of innovators has been working closely since April to bring this virtual event to life, and we’re happy to share that it was a success!
To help you get caught up on the progress of this project, we’ve summarized some interesting facts about this event below:
It all began with a Co-Creation Sprint
In April, we brought members of the insurance industry together virtually to ask the question, “How might we come together to support the small business owners in the community?”
Over the course of 4 afternoons, our innovators worked together using Design Thinking to develop an impactful solution to the challenges small business owners were facing in these difficult times. The team interviewed owners in Canada, the U.S., and Bermuda to understand the challenges in depth, and what they learned about was the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty small business owners experienced every day. During these interviews, the team uncovered a common challenge — while many owners sought vital information to develop their reopening strategy, such as Financial Planning, Marketing, and Insurance Coverage, very few of them were able to access expert knowledge due to budget constraints and lack of accessibility.
The solution: Make the information accessible at no cost, truly from the core of supporting the community!
We received truly generous support from the industry
There’s a reason we call them Summit Partners, and not Sponsors! The entire event was organized by volunteers, promoted by Partners, and hosted by expert speakers looking to give back to the community. We’d like to give a special shout-out to Kasia Kraszewska, Nancy Kwan, and Marcel Hegglin for their dedication, support, and enthusiasm throughout the project!
We’d also like to say a big thank-you to our Partners:
The community loved it!
The community shared incredible feedback, thanking our expert speakers for making the information easy to understand and for taking the time to answer questions from our audiences!
“I appreciate the fact that our speaker was self-taught and candid,” one attendee wrote to us about the session, Build an Online Presence. “As a small business owner, financial resources are precious, and we need a practical approach. He was practical, informative and very helpful in responding to questions. A great presentation and very happy to have attended!”
“Loved the whole talk,” another attendee shared after the session How to Launch a Product ended. “It was simple, effective and the speaker gave a clear and comprehensive explanation. Very refreshing to listen to her.”
All of our survey respondents said that the information shared offered value in helping them get back to business. During the event, our registrations more than doubled as more business owners joined to obtain access our live and on-demand sessions!
There’s more to come
After the positive response we received, the team decided to continue to support the community by offering more live and on-demand sessions in the coming months! We’re excited to share that we already have expert speakers lined up on topics such as Cybersecurity and Legal, thanks to our newest Partners — more on this soon!
There’s still time to join this community support initiative; click here to become a Back to Business Partner!
Curious about the next phase of the Back to Business Summit project? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!
In the next part of our series, I had the pleasure to chat with Team ABC, our 1st Place winners at SummerHack 2020. I spoke with Rachel Fermo, Prinsa Gandhi, and JiaQi Zhao about their experiences as first-time Hackers and how they worked together to come up with their winning idea.
Rachel, Prinsa, and JiaQi, thank you so much for joining us today, and congratulations on conquering your first hackathon! Before we dive into your winning solution and your experience, let’s do a quick intro about yourselves.
Rachel: I’m going into my third year at the University of Toronto, and I am studying Actuarial Science and Statistics, possibly with a minor in Math. Eventually, I want to become an actuary in Canada. I’m not exactly sure which area to go into, possibly Life and Health, but they say it depends on your first internship!
Prinsa: I’m also going into my third year at U of T. I’m a double major in Actuarial Science and Statistics, working towards a minor in Math. I also want to become an actuary. I am interested in Property and Casualty, but I’m not sure yet either.
JiaQi: I’m going into Actuarial Science, and I also study Computer Science. I’m hoping to get a minor in Statistics or Economics.
In line with that, what inspired you to join SummerHack 2020?
Rachel: We get emails from our Statistics department about opportunities related to Statistics, and we got an email invite to SummerHack. We said, “Why not, it sounds really fun and it’s something we can put on our resume for experience”! It was a learning opportunity, and that’s why we wanted to join.
Prinsa: Initially, we were pretty nervous about it! When we went to the Slack webpage, there seemed to be a lot of older participants from the insurance industry, so we joined for the experience.
JiaQi: We thought, “Let’s just try it. No matter how it goes, at least we tried our best”.
As first-time Hackers, how did you prepare for the 24-hour event?
Rachel: The first thing we did after hearing about it is that we tried to search up definitions, because we didn’t really know what IoT was. The Cookhouse Labs team also released prep videos, which Prinsa watched and shared notes about, and that’s how we prepared for it.
Prinsa: We received videos and articles from our Mentor on Slack, so we read those. We also saw the guide you posted about Design Thinking in 24 hours with time stamps, so we read that and watched the videos you shared.
JiaQi: We worked with our Mentor, David Schraub, who shared definitions, videos, and articles, and we asked him a bunch of questions. That was really helpful!
So, which of the three challenges did you pick, and why did you choose that challenge?
Rachel: We ended up picking the challenge about overcoming obesity. We each decided to research a challenge, and then come together with our notes and ideas to see which ones would work. Overcoming obesity was the soundest one, so we choose that challenge.
Prinsa: When you released the challenges, we had a discussion with our Mentor and he explained each topic in the real industry and how it works. Then, we split up and found ideas for each topic. We chose obesity because we had the most ideas for it.
JiaQi: We had to choose between small business bankruptcy mitigation, overcoming obesity, and mobility. We had the idea of an app and we tried linking each challenge to it. We wanted a solution that was possible to implement but was also original.
Once you choose a challenge, how did you go about developing your solution?
Rachel: First, we came up with our idea through research around overcoming obesity and insurance. We talked about our idea with our Mentor, and he gave us ideas about how to further develop the idea. Our idea was a Smart tooth, so we asked, “How do we link that to insurance?” We decided to add an app to our solution and reduce insurance premiums, and so on.
Prinsa: We followed the guide on Design Thinking, and when we decided on overcoming obesity, we did the survey research part on Google. We had a meeting with our mentor, and he told us to think of a specific target group, since this solution wouldn’t work for everyone. So, we created a persona, and we went ahead with it.
JiaQi: When we met with our Mentor, he told us that it was best to choose a target group first, and then create our solution around it.
You mentioned your Mentor, David, helped you quite a bit. Could you tell us more about how he supported you throughout your journey?
Rachel: He was really helpful, because he would notice things that we wouldn’t, like what we should focus on and what we should include in our presentation. He would give us research articles and things to think about when we were researching our idea. We definitely attribute our success to how he helped us throughout.
Prinsa: He also thought about the business side, which we didn’t really think about. He gave us a lot of advice on how insurance really works in the real world, such as pricing. He would join our Zoom call every two hours and would give us suggestions on what would work and what wouldn’t.
JiaQi: He gave us a lot of insights and examples of how internet of things is currently used in insurance. It helped us develop our idea of Smart tooth and link it better to insurance. As we were developing our concept, on our zoom call, he can always bring something new on the table and help us make our solution better. We couldn’t have done this without his support.
You mentioned that your idea was an IoT–powered Smart tooth. Could you tell us more about the concept behind it?
Rachel: It’s a tiny piece of metal glued to your tooth, and depending on what nutrient it absorbs, the metal shifts its electrochemical properties. You can transmit the information from the tooth to your phone, and you can view the data on the app. It’s easily accessible compared to calorie counters that exist right now, where you have to manually input the numbers, which can be inaccurate. Our way was to make it easier for people to access the information and make it helpful for insurance companies, because you can give that information to insurance companies and it will be an incentive to reduce your insurance premiums for healthy living.
Prinsa:When we researched our personas, we found that a common problem with health apps was that the customer didn’t have time to input information. The Smart tooth would automatically tell you the calories that you consumed, so it makes the process a lot easier.
JiaQi: In Design Thinking, we were told to put ourselves in place of the person who would be using the app, and we learned that it wasn’t that people didn’t care about what they were eating; it was that they didn’t have time. This method was very helpful!
What do you think contributed to your success in winning 1st Place at SummerHack 2020?
Rachel: I think our idea was really creative! Personally, I was really impressed with all the work that we accomplished in 24 hours. A big part of our success was that we worked together; this was our first time working together and we all knew what we had to do! We communicated with each other the whole day and we didn’t leave the Zoom call until we finished it and recorded our presentation. Only then did we fall asleep!
Prinsa: We were always on the Zoom call working together, always discussing our ideas.
JiaQi: Listening to each other’s ideas really helped. Rachel came up with the idea for the Smart tooth, we added to it, and that’s how it became the final solution.
How would you describe the overall experience at the event?
Rachel: We had never done anything like this before! When we heard that we had 3 minutes to pitch our ideas, we always had that in the back of our minds. We recorded the video a couple of times so that it was under 3 minutes. We were pretty good go-getters and we didn’t back down from the challenge. We continued the whole way through.
Prinsa: It was a fun experience because it had to do with real life industry issues. While working on the solution, we were completely interested in it because we felt as if we were working on something that was meaningful. It was super fun!
JiaQi: I really liked it, especially because it was 24 hours. Prior to us doing that, I would have never thought that we could create something in such little time. The fact that we actually did it has made me more confident in doing hackathons now!
As you know, WinterHack 2020 is coming up in November! As our 1st Place team, what advice would you give incoming students for the next event?
Rachel: If you’re a student, you might be taken aback by the 24-hours and not know what to do. If you take advice from your mentor, that will be really helpful for you. It’s not always about winning; it’s also about learning, so have fun while you’re doing the hackathon!
Prinsa: I would say, don’t be scared or nervous about what you can contribute! Just enjoy the experience, because you’ll end up learning a lot. That’s why we went into this — we wanted to have a cool experience.
JiaQi:Don’t overthink it! I’m sure all of the participants were nervous but it went really well. It always goes better than you expect!
Final question: How do you think that an event like this can make insurance better?
Rachel: In an event like this, you have to be really creative and think outside the box. The ideas that you come up with are ideas that people don’t normally think about. By doing this, we have ideas that didn’t previously exist and can really help insurance.
Prinsa: The challenges that we were given made us think from the consumer’s point of view. We did what we thought the consumer would want and it really helped in the end.
JiaQi: I think that gathering people from different countries, industries, and experience brings much more diversity and different perspectives on tackling a problem. I believe that an event like this can bring new insights and ideas in insurance.
Team ABC, thank you so much for your time and congratulations once again on your big win at SummerHack 2020!
We’re gearing up for our next global hackathon, WinterHack 2020. To stay informed about the event, follow us on LinkedIn!
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with David Schraub, a Staff Fellow at the Society of Actuaries and the Mentor of our 1st Place team at our 24-Hour Global SummerHack 2020. During the interview, David discussed how his team developed their winning solution and shared advice on how teams at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 can replicate this success.
Thank you, David, for joining us — not only for the interview, but as a SummerHack 2020 Mentor to a student team. Congratulations on your team’s big win! We would love to hear about your experience as a Mentor, but before we do, let’s start with a quick introduction about you.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate! It was my first hackathon and my first interaction with Cookhouse Labs, and I had a lot of fun. Now, about me — I’m a French actuary that moved to the U.S. about 17 years ago and became an American actuary. I’m currently working for the Society of Actuaries (SOA), helping advance professional design and continuing education programs. My background is in Life Insurance; I focused on the ERM and investments side. Now, I’m working on predictive analytics and InsurTech initiatives that bring the SOA and actuaries to the forefront of innovation.
Thank you for that introduction, David! Our students loved having such an experienced Mentor guide them throughout the event. Tell me, what inspired you to mentor a student team?
A member of the Cookhouse Labs team reached out to me with the opportunity to mentor a group of actuarial students, and I became curious about the innovation process and the event itself. So, it was the curiosity, the potential for disruption, and the question, “What can we create in 24 hours?” I wanted to find out!
How did you go about engaging and preparing your team for the hackathon?
We started with an introductory call to get to know each other. The Events Team also suggested using this call to align on how Mentors and students would stay in touch during the event. I was interested in learning about the students’ backgrounds and what they wanted to get out of the experience. They were interested in Data Science and Internet of Things. In advance of the 24-hour period, I shared related articles and background reads to clarify a few concepts and help them prepare.
What process did your team undergo to develop the solution?
The Events Team spelled out a very good process with milestones that we had no reason to challenge — the Design Thinking methodology. Our team started by sharing ideas on each of the 3 challenges given and decided on the first one, Overcoming Obesity. We created a detailed Persona to help us understand the target market. We discussed the size of the target market and the expected profitability of a product. Your product doesn’t have to be relevant to everybody, so long as your target market is large enough to generate a profit. You may have a small group of people that are extremely interested in one topic, and you may be able to build a completely viable product for them. After we had a Persona, we defined their interests and disposable income. We then went about developing a solution, and the next step (if we had time) would have been to develop a business plan around it.
We’re very excited to hear Design Thinking helped your team create their solution around Overcoming Obesity! Could you briefly describe the concept behind the solution?
We came up with an IoT-backed tooth with sensors to monitor what you eat. For example, it can count the calories you consume or your snack times. Let’s say you’re craving a snack — the app will use the information to suggest you go for a walk instead of opening the fridge. The app could also be connected to your doctor, who could use the data to help you manage aspects of your health and wellness that are impacted by your nutrition.
What do you think your team did well that led them to conquering SummerHack 2020?
One thing that they did well was to actually deliver; they had a good presentation that was submitted on time. Another thing is that their solution met the need and was possible to implement. We found a few articles suggesting the concept is already being developed. They also demonstrated a clear link to insurance: there is potential to reduce life insurance premiums.
On that note, what would be your advice to teams going into our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November?
Fully understand the requirements and deliver based on them! Submit your materials way in advance of the deadline and rehearse your pitch well. In fact, submit a video pitch to avoid technological issues that come with a live presentation. While all this may sound very basic, it is the key to success. Also, know what your solution can achieve and back this knowledge with numbers and statistics.
That’s very valuable advice! In a nutshell, how would you describe your experience at SummerHack 2020?
I’d say it was fun, interactive, and a great opportunity to learn!
How do you think such an event can help #MakeInsuranceBetter?
The basic answer would be to share these ideas with potential startups so that those products can be developed. They may make insurance better because they address the needs of the insured and of the insurance industry.
Thank you, David, for sharing your time with us and for mentoring our students at SummerHack 2020! Congratulations once again on your big win and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November!
Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure!
We’re about to announce the winners of our Best Solution – Greater China Area prize (valued at $1,000 CAD)! The announcement will be made via Facebook live stream on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 at 8 pm EDT. You don’t want to miss it, so click here to stay connected!
After we recently announced our upcoming Back to Business Summit, many members of the community reached out to us with questions about the event. To bring you up to speed on how you can get involved in this community support project, we’ve summarized some of the questions we frequently receive below!
What is the Back to Business Summit?
Cookhouse Labs is partnering with the Insurance industry to organize this virtual community support summit, designed to aid small business owners across the Americas in recovering from recent business interruptions and support them in preparing themselves to go Back to Business. The event will comprise a mix of live and on-demand sessions which focus on key business topics that are important to the small business community. The event will go live on September 15 and 16, 2020, and will be entirely online/virtual.
Why should I get involved?
Insurance was born out of the idea of community and right now, it is our responsibility to show up for the small business owners in our community. They are more than just business owners – they are our friends, neighbors, and family members. In these trying times, the community needs to come together. Your small business customers need your help to navigate the uncertain futures they face. This event is your way to:
Provide community support
Connect with your customers
Show you care
How can I provide support and get involved?
There are four ways to get involved in the Back to Business Summit. You can:
Provide expert speakers for defined topics
Invite your customers to the event
Spread the word, share, and repost our posts on Social Media
Join the event coordination team
The event is an opportunity for Partners to connect with their small business customers. We will provide invitation emails, website registration links, and social media content so that you can share the event information directly with your customers.
What topics will be covered in the speaker sessions?
We surveyed small business owners across the Americas to see what business topics they are interested in learning more about. Some of the high-interest topics are:
Business Strategy and Planning – Clarify Mission & Vision – What is the New Normal? – Design Thinking 101
Marketing and Social Media – Marketing 101 – Social Media 101 – Build Customer Personas
Insurance Policy, Coverage, and Claims – Know Your Coverage – Know Your Rights – Tips for Filing a Claim
Financial Planning & Taxes – Cash Flows and Expenses – Banking Resources – How to Protect Employees
What benefits will I enjoy as a Partner?
Create goodwill with your customers
Access expert knowledge for your customers
Expand your commercial network and meet potential small business customers
Receive high brand visibility throughout the event promotion and Summit duration
Show your customers that you care about them!
We invite you to join us in making a difference to the community – become an official Back to Business Partner and support your small business customers!
To get in touch with our Events Coordination Team about this community support opportunity, click here.
Somewhere in Toronto, a family-owned café serves its final customer, preparing to shut its doors indefinitely. Just across the border in New York, a salon owner wonders how she will make her next $6,000 rent payment.
While the definition of the ‘new normal’ continues to evolve every day, for many the future is as uncertain as ever. Despite lockdown restrictions lifting in some areas, sales remain low as shoppers spend only on basic necessities. All around us, small business owners are struggling to pay rent, plan for their families and themselves comfortably, keep their employees, and return to pre-pandemic levels of income.
In challenging times, it is often critical to look through a lens of empathy. In doing so, we see that these individuals are so much more than “just” small business owners; they are members of our communities with families to support. They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members, and our customers. And right now, they are overwhelmed with the possibility of losing their livelihood and for many, losing their dream.
Insurance was born out of the spirit of community, where the burden of one was shared by many with the intention to support each other and protect each other’s wellbeing in times of hardship. So, in these difficult moments we ask, “How might we come together to support the small business owners in our community?”
In April, we asked this question at our first virtual co-creation sprint, “Innovating to Save Community Businesses During COVID-19“. Innovators from across the Americas collaborated for 4 afternoons to develop a solution to this shared challenge. To accomplish this, we began by empathizing with small business owners in Canada, the US, and Bermuda through virtual interviews.
The interviews gave us incredible insight into the challenges they were facing, and many tears were shed during the conversations. We understood the fear and anxiety that our community members experience every day, and how painful this experience is for them.
After the interviews, one of our innovators was able to put into words what our entire team felt. She said, “This was a reality check. People’s dreams are being put on hold and there is a lot of uncertainty for them as business owners.”
Over the course of the project, we deliberated over many potential ways we could provide support in these difficult times. Our team came up with 70 ideas, and 1 MVP later, the concept of Back to Business was born!
So, what is Back to Business?
It is a solution to assist small business owners in preparing to return #BackToBusiness. We understand that many owners seek vital information to develop their reopening strategy, such as financial planning, marketing, and insurance coverage. As an industry, we will stand by our small business owners and provide access to experts on these topics and more in a 2-day virtual summit. To provide support to as many business owners as possible, we will make the information accessible across the Americas at no cost, truly from the core of supporting the community.
As an industry, we will come together to show our community that we care about them, that we are here for them in times of hardship.
We will reach out to the family in Toronto and the salon owner in New York. We will support them in recovering from recent business interruptions. We will provide access to resources to help bring them peace of mind in these difficult times.
This is our community and we will show up for them.
Who do you know that wants to show up and support the community?
To become a Back to Business Partner and play your part, click here.
If you’re joining us as a Hacker or Mentor this summer, you’re probably wondering how you’ll create a disruptive IoT-powered solution in just 24 hours. To help you prepare for our upcoming virtual hackathon, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to disrupt the insurance industry using Design Thinking in time for Friday’s deadline!
What is Design Thinking?
Previously in the insurance space, most insurers took the approach of creating solutions based solely on assumptions and hoped that their products or solutions would resonate with target audiences. Design Thinking reverses this logic by first identifying the root(s) of the problem, observing how people think and behave, and gathering customer insights. From there, they create practical solutions. Using this methodology invites teams to look at a problem through the eyes of the customer, put themselves in their shoes and fully empathize with the customer – who is ultimately the people impacted directly by the solution.
Stages of Design Thinking
The following are the stages of the Design Thinking process:
Empathize with the customer and other stakeholders
Define the opportunity or problem
Design a solution
Create and build a Minimum Viable Product/Concept/Service
Test the solution with customers and users
How to Use Design Thinking at SummerHack 2020
While the stages listed above may sound time-consuming, it’s possible to walk through each of them within a short timeframe. As a reminder, our Innovation Team will be available via regular check-in calls to answer any questions and provide support on how to follow Design Thinking to develop impactful solutions.
Below, we’ve broken down the 24-hour hackathon period using the Design Thinking process to help you structure your time (should you choose to do so) and succeed in SummerHack 2020!
Thursday, July 30th
9 AM – Empathize
At 9 am EDT, the Cookhouse Labs team will announce our IoT-based challenge and you will have 24 hours to create your solution!
Your Design Thinking journey begins with the first stage, Empathize. This is where you will begin to understand your target group, which can be done in 2 ways: internet research and interviews with your target group. You can’t create a customer-centric solution without putting yourself in the shoes of the customer, and a good way to do this is to speak directly with the potential customer and listen.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
An Empathy Map to help you visualize how the user thinks/feels and documents their pain points
1st Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 am to 12 pm!
3 PM – Define
The next stage focuses on constructing a point of view based on the user’s needs. Here, you will take time to reflect on what the user has shared with you and to visualize their experience. By doing so, you can define what problem you are trying to solve, which will help you shape a better experience for the user.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A Journey Map, which is a narrative of your user’s steps to accomplish a specific goal. This is mapped out in 2 layers: a timeline of the user’s actions and their thoughts/emotions while completing each task. You want to identify areas where the user encounters obstacles or barriers along their journey
How Might We (HMW) statements, which are short questions that focus on specific problem areas from the Journey Map and identifies the benefits or gains the solution will bring. In the same project about bankruptcy mitigation, our team created 20 HMW statements and selected, “How might we reduce the risk of financial impact of current economic events?”
2nd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 pm to 4 pm!
7 PM – Design
After selecting a single HMW statement to focus on, it’s time to ideate! This stage is all about connecting to your inner child and using your imagination to come up with multiple solutions to the problem your team identified. Quantity is important here, so remember to list as many possibilities as you can!
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
Multiple possible solutions to tackle the challenge in various timeframes
A chosen idea to begin prototyping!
3rd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 7 pm to 8 pm!
11 PM – Create
Once your team has voted on a winning idea, you are now ready to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You will begin by creating a low-fidelity prototype, which could take the form of a sketch, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A sketch of your Lo-Fi prototype to help visualize and test the solution
4th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 pm to 12 am!
Friday, July 31st
3 AM – Test
Now that the solution has taken shape, it’s time to test and retest the idea with different users. The objective is to receive feedback on the content, design, and usability of the prototype and is usually done via surveys and interviews. It is important to remain open to feedback and fully engage with the potential end-user in order to understand their thoughts and improve your prototype. Note that if it is not possible to test with actual personas, you can either test within the team, with friends or connections you have in your network, your Mentor, or ask the Cookhouse Labs team if they have a chance to check out your solution.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A final MVP that is ready to be presented
5th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 am to 4 am!
7 AM – Wrap-Up
In 2 hours, you will submit your final solution!
At this time, you should begin to practice your presentation and prepare any materials required (such as PowerPoint slides). Remember, you will only have three minutes to pitch your solution to our panel of judges!
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
Submitted your solution on our platform, including a brief description and any additional materials
Prepared your presentation for our Live Pitch Event beginning at 9:30 am
6th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 6 am to 7 am!
To provide even further support, our Innovation Team has prepared a Design Thinking video series to walk you through each stage in more detail, which you will have access to before the event.
And remember – along the way, you will have support from your Mentor, an industry expert dedicated to providing your team with valuable knowledge and expertise.
And with that, you are now ready to disrupt the insurance industry!
We wish all our teams the best of luck for SummerHack 2020! We invite our community members to join the Live Pitch Event on Friday, July 31st at 9:30 am EDT to see the exciting solutions our teams of student and corporate innovations develop.
“I enjoyed the multitude of ideas and the level of engagement. At these events, I get a huge input of ideas in a short period of time, which is what I look for. I also enjoyed seeing how the virtual setup worked and how everyone was able to collaborate, even though they were in different rooms!"
Bernd ScharrerCOO Operations/IT at VHV Holding AG
“I always come away from Cookhouse Labs events with lots of new contacts and lots of new ideas. The types of people I meet at these events are great! Everybody’s willing to help each other out and everybody’s interested in each other’s ideas. The connections you make at these events are brilliant, and I think just having that comradery in the insurance community can only make the industry better.”
Emily Hill Manager, Strategy & Planning, TD Insurance
“WinterHack 2020 was an incredible global event — chapeau to all the amazing participants for an amazing design process and a great job!! Thank you for hosting this ideathon, and hope to see some of these ideas on our portfolio next year!”
Gil AraziFounder and Managing Partner, FinTLV
"First and foremost, Cookhouse Labs was an entryway into meeting a lot of parties within the Canadian insurance industry. We were introduced to senior leaders at MGAs and other insurance companies. We also got to participate in some interesting workshops with people that we deal with every day, like a workshop with underwriters to talk about the future of underwriting. It was interesting to get their point of view on how far we could push the envelope, where some of the constraints are, and why those constraints exist. It was very beneficial for us early on to have those sounding boards for some of our ideas to tell us how feasible they would be! "
Laura McKayCo-Founder of PolicyMe
"When signing up for WinterHack 2020, I was curious about the entirely virtual experience and how it would be managed. It was a wonderful experience, and we had a lot of fun. Cookhouse Labs did an amazing job with sharing resources and guiding teams through all the steps, so thank you!"
“Looking at this collaboration from a corporate viewpoint, I’d want to have the Cookhouse Labs spark of energy for disruption permeate all areas of my organization… It’s always about the people, collaboration & change.”
“This year I had the chance to work with the team at Cookhouse Labs. In a time where we are all grasping on how to enhance collaboration and innovation remotely, it was impressive to see how the team was able to deliver innovation programs and train the trainer teachings online. Not only did we get to be involved in innovation practices, but Cookhouse Labs also modelled how to deliver using collaboration tools that can be applied to working with any group of people. And the bonus? A chance to expand my community of innovation leaders!”
Susan GilbertDirector, Digital Operations at MIG Insurance and Co-Founder, Haekka
"You don't have to be Steve Jobs to be an innovative individual. I have to upsell the support we got from Cookhouse Labs: the templates guided us in the right direction on how to develop and present our solution in the end, so thank you!"
Tommy KimSenior Actuarial Analyst, Munich Re Company of Canada
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At msg global solutions, we take the law very seriously. You may unsubscribe at any time from receiving CEM, by visiting the Preference Centre or clicking on the link in any CEM that you may receive from Msg global solutions, and we will remove you from our list within ten (10) business days.
6. AMENDMENT OF THIS ANTI-SPAM POLICY AND GUIDELINES.
From time to time, Msg global solutions will review and update this Anti-Spam Commitment as required to keep current with rules and regulations, new technologies, standards, our business practices and outside parties’ concerns. We will post any Anti-Spam Commitment changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, as the case may be, email notification of Anti-Spam Commitment changes).
7. QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THIS ANTI-SPAM COMMITMENT?
If you need further assistance, please contact us at: email@example.com
Revised November 11, 2019.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
Documents Available Notification (AODA)
Dear Valued Clients and Visitors,
msg global solutions Canada Inc. has created policies and procedures to meet their obligations regarding customer service outlined in the Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 2005.
Our accessibility policies are available for your review in a number of formats. Should you wish access to these documents in another way, please notify: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Organizational Commitment
msg global solutions is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.
Statement of Commitment to Accessibility
msg global solutions is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for all stakeholders including our clients/customers, employees, job applicants, suppliers, and any visitors who may enter our premises, access our information, or use our services. As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(2005), and its associated standards and regulations.
msg global solutions understands that we have a responsibility for ensuring a safe, dignified, and welcoming environment for everyone. We are committed to ensuring our organization’s compliance by incorporating accessibility legislation into our policies, procedures, equipment requirements, training, and best practices. We will review these policies and practices annually, as organizational changes occur, or in anticipation of compliance deadlines. In addition, we will strive to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner.
Providing an accessible and barrier-free environment is a shared effort, and as an organization, msg global solutions is committed to working with the necessary parties to make accessibility for all a reality. For more detailed information on our accessibility policies, plans, and training programs, please contact email@example.com
Alternate Format Request Form
msg global solutions is committed to providing accessible, quality services. Communications in alternate formats will be made available upon request within a reasonable time period in a mutually agreed upon format. Please complete and submit the below form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Record of Customer
Thank you for visiting msg global solutions and Cookhouse Labs. We value all our clients and strive to meet everyone’s needs. We look forward to your feedback. Please send us an email at email@example.com
Ten Privacy Principles
Accountability: We are responsible for personal information under our control and we have designated individuals who are accountable for our compliance with these privacy principles.
Identifying Purposes: We shall disclose the purposes for which we collect your personal information either before or at the time the information is collected.
Consent: Your knowledge and consent is required for our collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, subject to certain exceptions set out in the law. Your consent may be expressed in writing, verbally, electronically, and in certain circumstances, may also be implied.
Limiting Collection: Your personal information shall only be collected by fair and lawful means, and will be limited to that which is necessary for the identified purposes.
Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Your personal information may only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected, other purposes to which you have consented or if required by law. Your personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of identified purposes, or as required or permitted by law.
Accuracy: We shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and as up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.
Safeguards: We shall protect your personal information using security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of your information to prevent unwanted release, misuse or intrusion.
Openness: Information about our privacy policies and procedures for handling your personal information shall be made available to you.
Individual Access: Upon written request, you will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information. In addition, you will be given access to your personal information, as permitted by law. You may also verify the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and, where appropriate, request that it be amended.
Inquiries and Concerns: You may contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policies and procedures.
1.2. Contact Us
Information We Collect
2.1. When You Visit our Websites
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any information about yourself. However, when you visit the Websites, we may request that you provide Personal Information about yourself and we will collect Navigational Information.
2.2. “Personal Information”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us through the use of our Websites, and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information about any transactions, both free and paid, that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.
2.3. “Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed. Please see section 4 the “Navigation Information” section, below.
2.4. Information About Individuals Under 18
The Websites are not intended for or targeted at individuals under 18, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about individuals under 18. If you believe that we have collected information about an individual under 18, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street , Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy, so that we may delete the information.
How We Use Information We Collect
3.1. We Never Sell Personal Information
We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party.
3.2. Use of Personal Information
3.3. Use of Navigational Information
We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites and underlying marketing software. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about the Software Provider.
3.4. Customer Testimonials and Comments
We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.
3.4. Use of Credit Card Information
We do not directly collect credit card information from you. We use a third-party service provider to manage credit card processing. This service provider is not permitted to store, retain, or use information you provide except for the sole purpose of credit card processing on our behalf.
3.5. Service Providers
We employ other companies and people to provide services to visitors to our Websites, such as the use of underlying marketing software, and may need to share your information with them to provide information, products or services to you. Examples may include removing repetitive information from prospect lists, analyzing data, providing marketing assistance, processing credit card payments, supplementing the information you provide us in order to provide you with better service, and providing customer service. In all cases where we share your information with such agents, we explicitly require the agent to acknowledge and adhere to our privacy and customer data handling policies.
3.6. Security of your Personal Information
We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When sensitive Personal Information (such as geo-location data) is collected on our Websites and/or transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
If you have any questions about the security of your Personal Information, you can contact us at: email@example.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.
3.7. Social Media Features
3.8. External Websites
3.9. Retention of Personal Information
We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you about our services and products, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in the “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” section below.
If you have elected to receive marketing communications from us, we retain information about your marketing preferences for a reasonable period of time from the date you last expressed interest in our content, products, or services, such as when you last opened an email. We retain information derived from cookies and other tracking technologies for a reasonable period of time from the date such information was created.
3.10. International Transfer of Information
3.11. Corporate Events
If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our Website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.
3.12. Compelled Disclosure
We reserve the right to use or disclose your Personal Information if required by law or if we reasonably believe that use or disclosure is necessary to protect our rights; protect your safety or the safety of others; investigate fraud; or comply with a law, court order or legal process.
We use “cookies” to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web server. Cookies are not used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize pages on our Websites, a cookie helps us to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. When you return to the same Website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the customized features.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Websites you visit. Cookhouse Labs keeps track of the Websites and pages you visit within Cookhouse Labs, in order to determine what portion of the Website is the most popular or most used. This data is used to deliver customized content and promotions within the Website to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.
4.2. Log Files
We may collect demographic information, such as your postal or zip code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other Personal Information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Cookhouse Labs for marketing purposes, to maintain the quality of the Websites and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Website. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information, such as name, email address, address and phone number.
4.3. Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)
We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. “web beacons” or “web bugs”), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of visitors to our Websites. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.
4.5. Third Party Tracking Technologies
How to Access & Control Your Personal Data
5.1. Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request Cookhouse Labs will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. You have the following rights with respect to that information:
To request access, correction, updates or deletion of your personal information;
To object to processing of your personal information;
To restrict processing of your personal information;
To request portability of your personal information; and
To opt out of being solicited by Cookhouse Labs,
To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe, and notify you of the action we have taken.
If we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.
You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information.
5.2. Anti-Spam Policy
Our Acceptable Use Policy, at: www.cookhouselab.com/casl-acceptable-use, applies to us and, among other things, prohibits us from sending unsolicited commercial email in violation of applicable laws, and requires the inclusion of an “opt-out” mechanism in any commercial electronic messages that we send.
5.3. To Unsubscribe From Our Communications
You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our commercial electronic messages, contacting us at: email@example.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.