Insurance titans and start-ups alike are endeavouring to use blockchain technology to thwart insurance fraud, digitally track records, and more.

Insurance has existed for millennia’s. One of the first documented loss limitation methods was noted in the Code of Hammurabi, which was written around 1750 BC.

While technology has permanently changed entire industries over the past decade, in many ways, the multi-trillion-dollar global insurance industry is still stuck in the past.

Stuck In The Past

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In spite of the rise in online brokers, countless consumers still call insurance brokers by phone to purchase new policies. In addition to this, policies are often managed on paper contracts; as a result, claims and payments are error-prone and often require human observation. Compounding this is the inherent complexity of insurance, which consists of consumers, brokers, insurers and reinsurers, as well as insurance’s main product — risk.

Every step in this collaborative process signifies a potential point of failure in the overall system, where data can be misplaced, policies misunderstood, and settlement times drawn-out.

The Power of Blockchain

Enter blockchain technology, a cryptographically secured form of shared record-keeping.

While blockchain technology has been subject to extreme hype, its true killer applications are likely to be in some of the most antiquated fields out there. And it has the ability to be a transformative force for industries like insurance, which require the coordination and cooperation of many different intermediaries with different motivations.

These applications include:

  • Fraud detection & risk prevention: By moving insurance claims onto an immutable ledger, blockchain technology can help eliminate common sources of fraud in the insurance industry.
  • Property & casualty (P&C) insurance: A shared ledger and insurance policies executed through smart contracts can bring an order of magnitude improvement in efficiency to property and casualty insurance.
  • Health insurance: With blockchain technology, medical records can be cryptographically secured and shared between health providers, increasing interoperability in the health insurance ecosystem.
  • Reinsurance: By securing reinsurance contracts on the blockchain through smart contracts, blockchain technology can simplify the flow of information and payments between insurers and reinsurers

Projects Driving Blockchain Adoption in Insurance

ShareRing

ShareRing is built on distributed ledger technology. This technology provides a system where transactions are super secure, fast and immutable because data is managed by a network of publicly controlled “nodes” that confirm the data is true and correct.  A decentralised system means your data is immutable. With no central point to be exploited, the system is protected against hacking and fraud.

ShareRings blockchain technology has attracted the attention of an extremely renowned insurance company, known as Dhipaya Insurance. Dhipaya Insurance is based in Thailand and is engaged in the provision of non-life insurance. Read more about the partnership here-: https://blog.sharering.network/dhipaya-insurance-deep-dive-thailand/

The Company is partially owned by the Thailand Government and has become the largest travel insurance provider in Thailand. Dhipaya will be offering travel products through the ShareRing app and backend system.

This is a major partnership and one of the first movers in blockchain adoption for the trillion-dollar insurance industry.  To overcome the significant regulatory and legal hurdles required for such an agreement is a true testament to the potential of ShareRing’s blockchain technology.

IBM

IBM Blockchain is helping the insurance industry radically transform operations with faster verifiable data exchanges, visibility for all parties, and transactions underpinned with pervasive security and trust.

One example of this transformation is openIDL, a network built on the IBM Blockchain Platform with the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS). They’re automating insurance regulatory reporting and streamlining compliance requirements, and that’s improving efficiency and accuracy for both insurers and state insurance departments.

In January, Anthem announced that it was working with Aetna, Health Care Service Corporation, IBM and PNC Bank in a new partnership focused on blockchain. Their goal, says Rajeev Ronanki, the chief digital officer at Anthem, is to help keep patient data private while increasing interoperability (the ability of different digital health systems to exchange information) and trust between partners.