COLUMBUS, Ga., Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., announced today that the company has been ranked No. 15 in the 2021 American Innovation Index™ (Aii) and No. 1 in the life and disability insurance category.
The Aii is a joint project with Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business, the Norwegian School of Economics and market research firm Rockbridge Associates, Inc. The American Innovation Index is unique in that it measures innovation from the customer's point of view rather than relying on expert opinions that bypass what customers actually experience, according to the Aii website. This is the fourth time Aflac has been named to the prestigious list.
Aflac also ranked No. 11 in the Social Innovation Index™ (Sii), once again coming in at No. 1 in the life and disability insurance category. The Sii measures a company's ability to create positive social and environmental change and the degree to which it embodies responsible business.
Since 2018, Aflac has distributed more than 12,000 of its award-winning My Special Aflac Ducks® to children in the United States, Japan and Northern Ireland. The innovative robotic duck is specifically designed to address the needs of children facing cancer and includes an interactive app that children can use to conduct medical play. Beginning in early 2022, Aflac will expand its successful My Special Aflac Duck program to children with sickle cell disease. The comforting companion will be updated with new accessories to reflect the specific needs of children suffering the inherited blood disease that disproportionately affects the African American community.
"As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the state of work and life has changed. It is essential that companies like Aflac adapt and innovate in order to serve our customers, generate revenues, provide great jobs for our employees and make meaningful contributions to the community," said Aflac U.S. President Teresa White. "We've adopted new technologies and innovative approaches that have enabled us to work more colloboratively – driving us forward as we seek to emerge from the global pandemic stronger than ever. This recognition from the American Innovation Index is a testament to the hard work and innovative approach driving how we serve to our customers, stakeholders and valued employees."
The American Innovation Index is a multi-year research initiative that scores and ranks U.S. companies on its "innovation" in delivering products and services and "social innovation" in benefiting society and the environment. Companies who invest in customer-perceived innovation see the benefit to their bottom line.
"The pandemic continues to challenge companies to adapt their business models at a faster rate than in normal times," said Lerzan Aksoy, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business. "The American Innovation Index recognizes the companies with the highest innovation index scores based on customer ratings. The results show that customers are noticing the speed of innovation by top companies in response to these turbulent times."
For more information about the Aii and Sii, including a full list of company rankings, visit www.americaninnovationindex.com
About Aflac Incorporated
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. For 15 consecutive years, Aflac Incorporated has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2021, Fortune included Aflac Incorporated on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 20th time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Incorporated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency, for the second consecutive year. To find out how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at Aflac.com or Aflac.com/Espanol.
About the American Innovation Index
The Aii scores and ranks the innovativeness of U.S. companies based on their customers' experiences. The fourth annual study was conducted in July-August 2021 and covers 175 firms from 20 industries, such as airlines, hotels, banks, TV and internet service providers, wireless phone providers, manufacturers and retailers. The study surveyed 6,279 consumers and covered over 28,000 customer-company relationships. To date, no large-scale, scientifically vetted measure of customer-perceived innovation exists in the United States.
About Fordham University
Fordham University offers exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition across nine schools. Fordham awards baccalaureate, graduate and professional degrees to approximately 15,000 students.
About Rockbridge Associates, Inc.
Rockbridge Associates, Inc. is an outcome-based market research firm that has been advising Fortune 500s, mid-sized firms, and nonprofits on their innovation and marketing strategy for over two decades. www.rockresearch.com
About the Norwegian School of Economics
The Norwegian School of Economics, one of the leading business schools in Europe, launched the Norwegian Innovation Index in 2016 and partnered with Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business and Rockbridge Associates to replicate the methodology in the U.S.
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SOURCE Aflac Incorporated