Frequently Asked Questions

Please take a look at our always evolving Frequently Asked Questions for all the answers you are looking for surrounding #InsurHack 2017.

What is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is a blend of the words “Hack” and “Marathon”. The InsurHack Zurich Hackathon is a software developing challenge. Teams can apply with a short description about themselves. At the event teams have the chance to conceptualize their idea and develop a working prototype. After 48 hours of hacking idea and prototype will be pitched to a panel of experts.

When and where does the InsurHack take place?

The InsurHack 2017 will open its doors on October 6th at 1pm at RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne (Aachener Str. 999, 50933 Köln, Germany). The event ends on October 8th at 6pm. The stadium is easily accessible with public transport or car. Parking space is available on site.

At RheinEnergieSTADION, the holy halls of 1.FC Köln, the business lounge will provide a creative environment and inspire teams with a stunning view into the stadium.

Download directions (PDF)

Who can participate?

InsurHack 2017 is made for teams and start-ups consisting of developers, designers and ideators. Teams range from 3 up to 8 members.

Why does Zurich host a Hackathon?

Besides trying to validate a new technological platform, which will be fully launched in 2017, Zurich is first and foremost looking for new, creative, brilliant ideas breaking the boundaries of the traditional insurance mold. The InsurHack 2017 enables Zurich to connect with experts and innovative thinkers on the grounds of digitalization and drive the development of insurances towards new customer relationships and even further. With this approach Zurich renews its successful format, starts into another InsurHack with new challenges and shapes current digital conversations.

How do I apply?

Fill out the sign up at Eventbrite. Here we just need a few details about you and your team:

  1. Click on register and choose Team-Ticket
  2. Choose an existing Team or create a new one
  3. Decide which challenge you and your team want to participate in
  4. Finalize your registration: Tell us quickly what excites you about a Hackathon and how would the perfect code look like to you?

After handing in your registration you will get a confirmation e-mail. Seats are limited, so don’t hesitate! Sign up for InsurHack today!

What is the Hashtag?

The official hashtag is #insurhack.

What are the exact challenges?

Open Data

Use AI methods like machine learning and predictive analysis to enhance available customer data and social footprints. Build new services or products upon these data or provide appropriate customer satisfaction through your feedback.

Everyday Insurance

Create digital insurance solutions as daily companions which deliver suitable protection as an answer to the need of our (potential) customers. This varies from awakening first interest with conversation solutions along phenomenal customer experience (B2B and B2C) with e.g. VR/AR over to brand new service ideas.

Do you have any available data sources?

Yes, we will provide you as soon as possible with some concrete examples.

What are the prizes?

Besides becoming the next coding Superheroes and all the fame and admiration that comes with it the best entries of each challenge will be awarded with a total prize of 75.000€ by a panel of experts. In addition there will be awards for special categories which will be presented at the event.

What are the main criteria of the challenge?

The panel of experts will apply following criteria to rate your entries:

  • Impact: Does your solution address the relevant market and customers?
  • Creativity: Do you create new ways to generate real innovation within the insurance sector?
  • Technology: How convincing is your technical approach? Are you using state-of-the-art APIs?
  • Pitch: Does your pitch convince our expert team with its great approach and usability?

Which standard technologies will be used?

The Zurich open API Platform offers a number of functionalities to interact with Zurich’s products. Technologies and interfaces include REST, SOAP and OData among others. Documentations and further details can also be accessed via the API platform.

Which Software platforms will be available at the event?

The core system will be the Guidewire Insurance platform. You can find more information here:

For Life insurances we offer dedicated APIs to our Policy Administration system.

What kind of assets will be available through the APIs?

For Guidewire we are offering access to the following basic assets:

  • customer / account data
  • Policies
    • mobile protection
    • general liability
    • accident
    • home
    • building
    • legal cost

Regarding Life Insurances, available assets are:

  • partner data (customer, insured person, beneficiary)
  • policies for classic and unit-linked life insurances
    • contract information
    • expiration values
    • redemption value calculation
    • fonds data

In general you are able to:

  • create and read user / account data
  • get ratings and quotations for the supported types of insurances
  • underwrite insurances for a customer

We are setting up an API Portal prior to the event. There you can sign up and inspect the APIs and download full (Swagger 2.0) documentations.

What kind of simulated data will be available?

You will be able to create customer data on your own via the API. Thereby you can set up something that suits your application. However, the amount of data will be limited to a certain extend. If you have something special in mind, just let us know and we will see if we find a way to set it up prior to the event.

Are there any restrictions regarding mocking data/services?

We don’t put any limitations on what to mock. But to stay on track, it should be somehow within the scope of an insurance company. So if you use mocked or third party data, you should always consider how this data could be made available to Zurich in a real life scenario. Also, the current implementation of our platform is in the beta state, since it won’t be released until next year. Therefore some features or assets might not be available at the time. For example, if you miss support for a certain type of insurance which was not mentioned above, you are free to mock it.

Please also take a look at our websites (, to find further information on our products listed there.

Is there any relevant market that we need to target?

As Zurich Germany, we have a strong focus on our primary market – but if you have a great idea that works on a global scale, this is absolutely fine.

What type of type of application do you expect?

No preferences here, but we recommend to have something ready that shows off the value of your prototype also for non-technical users. So if your focus is to develop a new API, you should complement it with some kind of user interface. Also you should take a closer look at the main criteria of the challenges.

Are you looking for startup-driven ideas?

Yes, definitely.

What do teams have to bring to the event?

The whole InsureHack 2017 will be BYOD – bring your own device. Wifi and Ethernet access will be provided on site, but teams have to bring their own devices.

Beds will be available on site, but please bring your own blankets, pillows and whatever else you need to catch a nap. To shower and change you can use the cabins of 1.FC Köln and feel like a professional athlete during the event.

What is the dress code?

Casual. Choose clothes you feel comfortable wearing. It is about creativity and having fun, not about who’s best dressed.

What else is being offered on site?

We will have several interesting speakers during the event and also offer various sports and leisure activities. But we don’t want to give away all the surprises just yet ;)

What about food and beverages?

Food and beverages will be available on site for free.

How do you ensure data privacy and protect customer data?

All systems offered during the event run in an isolated sandbox environment. Teams will be working exclusively with test data specifically created for the InsurHack. No real customer data will be used.