Ethical behavioural science: what can insurers learn from snow shovel sellers?

Imagine this scenario: a hardware store has been selling snow shovels for USD 15 each. The morning after a large snowstorm, the store raises the price to USD 20. How would you rate the fairness of this action?


Towards a code of ethical behavioural interventions

Dilip Soman, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sciences and Economics
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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About the event

Customer excellence and behavioural science professionals alike are at the forefront of bringing a human-centric approach to the corporate sector, including in insurance. In your journey to do so, would you value better understanding how to navigate the topic of ethics, for example, of communications, of pricing and beyond? Or have you already developed some best practices in this area that you would be willing to share?

Swiss Re's Behavioural Research Unit has teamed up with Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) of the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto. The goal of the partnership is to bring our insurance industry's expertise together with the latest research in behavioural science. This year, we will be focussing on how to make it easier for us insurance professionals to implement behavioural science practices in an ethical manner. We all have something to gain from a more ethical and trusted insurance industry!

As part of this effort, we will host the first event bringing together insurance professionals exposed to the topic of behavioural science. Our aim is to discuss this topic in a constructive yet safe environment, supporting each other on this journey of human-centric and ethical approaches to insurance.

Why should you participate?

  • Get insights and tools to know when one should use a Nudge or behavioural science.
  • Understand how to get buy-in to apply behavioural science while navigating potential concerns.
  • Learn what the approach from other disciplines and other market players to ethics looks like. Should and can we align across those disciplines?
  • Take this opportunity to further shape the industry's agenda on the topic. Swiss Re Institute and BEAR will publish a whitepaper on this later in the year and we are open to collaborate with other companies on this.


The event may be photographed, videotaped, filmed and /or digitally recorded. You consent to Swiss Re's use, free of charge, of any memorialization of the event in which you may appear for any Swiss Re publication or promotional purpose.

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