Canadian Underwriter

What’s your game plan?

April 11, 2016   by Staff

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GameOfThreatsInsurance isn’t boring on social media. In 2010 and 2011, Farmers Insurance teamed up with the Facebook game Farmville, offering 10 days of virtual crop coverage in exchange for floating a branded blimp over their fields. And for a like, Facebookers could enter a contest to win a ride on the real Farmers blimp.

“A lot of insurance companies are piggybacking on that phenomenon [of social media games] to move their brand into the conversation,” says Mahendra Nambiar, vice-president and global insurance head of solutions and innovation at consulting firm Capgemini. As more people swap traditional TV for online entertainment, “it’s a neat way of saying ‘hey, we’re out here, remember us, more than just the television ads…’”

Farmers discontinued its Farmville branding after 2011, spokesperson Trevor Chapman told Top Broker, and also no longer owns its own blimp.

But other companies are getting in on the game play, and not just for brand recognition. In January, PwC Canada released Game of Threats, a digital role-playing game for its clients to practice making good cyber security decisions. Players are divided into two groups: the company and the hacker. The hacker plays the first card, attacking the company by sending malware emails or demanding ransoms. To mimic the urgency of a real attack, says Richard Wilson, cyber-security and privacy consulting partner at PwC Canada, the company then has 90 seconds to pick an appropriate response, knowing only how their operations are affected and not what the hacker did. Afterwards, PwC helps clients analyze the effectiveness of their responses, Wilson says, “and in the reality of [the client’s] organization, can we do things differently?”

As risk gamification increases—maybe a telematics app will soon turn a Sunday drive to a survive-the-zombies game—Nambiar thinks “brokers are going to have to piggyback on this phenomenon. Let’s say I’m a Farmers Insurance customer and I’m used to playing those games.” If a broker wants to compete for her business, “they better have something similar or they’re going to have a tough time…”

Image: PwC

Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the March 2016 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.