Impaired Lives: Understanding a new market
Banking, Insurance & Real Estate
> Prototyping & Testing
applied methods
> Design sprint > Qualitative user Interviews > Rapid prototyping > User testing > Business modelling
Spark Labs
2 month strategic alignment and focus identification; 1 week Design Sprint
See how Spark Works helped a Swiss reinsurance company explore the potential of a new market segment by gaining a complete 360° view of the needs and requirements of the main stakeholders involved in the journey.

1. Strategic focus

For two months, we have aligned with the Swiss Re steering team to identify the scope of the week, the key stakeholders to be involved, the required expertise of the winning Sprint team and the assumptions that needed further validation from the market.

2. Design sprint

A global team of 7 participants was brought together in Toronto to fully dive into the challenge. Crucial assumptions were validated, opportunity areas were de-prioritized along the way and two solutions were generated and tested with real users.

3. Ready for next steps

On the last day, the team presented their solutions to one of their major clients in Canada and received constructive feedback to inform the definition of the next steps for further validation in other regions. A roadmap for the first pilot was additionally created.

steps in-depth

Design Sprint

During our five day intense Sprint, the team repeatedly engaged with three key stakeholder groups: underwriters, policy-holders (or declines) and agents. Interviewing each target group allowed them to identify crucial pain-points and challenges at each step of their respective journeys. With this new understanding in mind, they were able to agree on which major problems required addressing, and generate two alternative solutions that were tested with the three key groups.

" Many thanks again for your engaged support and coaching of the agile session. It was very helpful to find impactful solutions to complex matters."


The team gained an insight-driven understanding of their users’ needs and business requirements. They validated a select set of hypotheses regarding the potential of the impaired lives market segment, and proposed two actionable solutions to address major challenges in the market.

By learning the needs and pain points of those with impaired lives, Swiss Re saw how serving this segment could help them create and deliver novel value while expanding their current reach. They discovered how much impact they could make by simply enhancing the user experience — from application to rejection.
Key insight

"I never really talked directly with someone whose health insurance was denied. You could feel their sadness. I now start to understand that behind numbers, there are real people with real emotions. We need to do something about it. This was an eye-opening experience."