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Game-based training key to building confidence for Hiscox’s underwriters

Insurer Hiscox’s underwriters are expected to not just survive but thrive in high pressure environments.

Underwriting a range of risks from oil refineries to kidnappings, it’s essential that Hiscox’s training readies its underwriters to make critical decisions in demanding situations.

Setting underwriters up for success means putting them in immersive, true-to-life scenarios where they can rehearse in situations that replicate their day-to-day role. Achieving this in a short timeframe – a matter of hours – is crucial too.

That’s why Hiscox turned to Attensi.

Partnering with the FTSE 250 company, we set out to create gamified simulation training that reinforced critical information effectively, and at scale.

For Chief Underwriting Officer Joanne Musselle, this meant looking at Hiscox’s “training programme – not just the content but how we deliver it – and utilising Attensi to help us gamify”.


What Hiscox set out to achieve

While making an engaging gamified experience was high on the agenda, Hiscox also wanted to:

●  Establish a way to measure knowledge retention

●  Reduce the time required to complete training

●  Increase training scalability and consistency across the organisation

●  Give underwriters the chance to practise in a real-world environment


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How we addressed these challenges

Targeting Band 2 underwriters, we developed game-based training that would improve employees’ case analysis and communication skills with brokers and claims teams.

Together we developed a comprehensive learner journey which included:

●  Videos from senior stakeholders at Hiscox

●  SKILLS minigames

●  Microsoft Excel case studies that underwriters downloaded and worked on

●  BEHAVIOUR simulations featuring dialogues with brokers and the Chief Underwriter about the Excel case studies

● Optional e-learning


“It doesn’t feel like training. The way it’s presented is much more engaging. It makes you want to complete it.” 

– Senior Underwriter Nicole Coster


The results

●  95% of respondents believe this training has helped them navigate external relationships (e.g., brokers, external stakeholders)

●  95% of respondents say this training helped them understand how and when to communicate with the claims team

●  80% of respondents felt more confident in their ability as an underwriter after completing the training

●  4 repetitions per module on average

●  3 hours of Attensi training vs. 60 hours of classroom-based training


Simulation training provides a safe place to fail

Taking part in role plays can be an intimidating experience for employees, particularly new starters. The reason: the fear of failure can cause trainees to conform to the expectations of their peers rather than trust their own decision-making skills. It’s why a safe place to fail is a key differentiator for simulation training.

“It’s a very safe space to make errors. You’re not going to get everything right the first time and that’s okay. It’s good to have another go,” explained Regional Underwriting Manager Charles Friend.

“That’s definitely what sets this apart from textbook or classroom training where you might be in front of your peers and feel embarrassed by making mistakes.”

Long adopted by pilots and surgeons, simulation training allows “people to experience real-world dilemmas and the real-world decision-making without, actually, the cost that comes with it,” said Line Underwriter Paul Carnegie

In this environment, underwriters are empowered to practise over and over again until they feel they have achieved a sense of mastery. And they can train anywhere, anytime.

Measurable and scalable training

While classroom-based training can, to some extent, meet the demands of small companies, it’s not scalable at speed across globally – or even nationally – distributed organisations like Hiscox.

“It was a lot easier when I first joined; there was only about 400 of us. It’s a bit more challenging now there’s 3,500,” said Global Head of Learning Des Bishop.

Adopting Attensi’s solutions dramatically helped Hiscox scale their training. Without the need for underwriters to travel and attend classroom-based training, they have reduced 60 hours of training time to just three hours.

Time-saved wasn’t the only stat that Hiscox tracked. They also logged key data, including how many times users were repeating the training and their performance across each module.

“I know from seeing the stats that people go around and repeat. So even if they scored four stars and they can move on, they’ll go back through and do it again because they want to score higher up the leaderboard. The technical learning that the individuals gain through the game did materialise in more confidence post-game,” enthused Bishop.


Game on! Compete with your colleagues (in a friendly way)

It’s clear that gamified training really got underwriters going. “I think it’s quite addictive, actually. You do get a sense of accomplishment when you reach the next level,” testified Friend.

“I think underwriters are naturally competitive. I think the underwriters found it very accessible and enjoyable. That competitiveness really comes through when you do this training.”

He wasn’t the only one to pick up on the enthusiasm for Attensi’s minigames. “You get a score and you’re instantly ranked against your colleagues. You recognise some names so it’s quite exhilarating. You want to be the best,” said Development Underwriter Théo Poizat.

As you can see, pitching colleagues against one another in a gamified environment drove engagement, repetition, and knowledge repetition. You might say it took the labour out of learning.

And if you need any more proof, here it is: “It doesn’t feel like training. The way it’s presented is much more engaging. It makes you want to complete it,” said Senior Underwriter Nicole Coster.

If you would like to find out how Attensi can help your organisation build and develop a training solution, get in touch with one of our team.

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