Major European insurers band together to investigate the use of blockchain

By October 20, 2016Bitcoin Business

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence " Fintech Briefing " subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here . Five of Europe’s largest insurers have formed a group to test blockchain technology in order to determine whether it can make the insurance industry more efficient, the Financial Times reports. The group’s members are Allianz, Aegon, Zurich, Munich Re, and Swiss Re. Alessandro Spadoni, Zurich’s representative in the group, said that they would begin by exploring the use of blockchain specifically within the reinsurance sector — reinsurers sell insurance to other insurance companies. The group has said it will especially look into the use of smart contracts. These are blockchain-based contracts that execute immediately when certain conditions are met. Here’s where smart contracts could be particularly beneficial in the insurance industry: The selling of reinsurance. Reinsurance policies can involve huge sums of money, as well as large numbers of geographically disparate parties. And each party needs to hold the same version of the policy contract. At the moment, the distribution and updating of contracts can be a time-consuming process, and one open to human error. But a blockchain-based version of a contract would mean that each party held an identical copy of the contract, which could be updated centrally, simultaneously. This could save significant time, as well as reduce the possibility of human error. Claims processing. Right now, when someone makes a claim, it has to be processed and corroborated manually by a human staffer. Smart contracts, however, can be triggered and executed automatically if specific conditions set out in the contract are met, which the contract can determine by plugging into feeds of publically available information. For example, if someone’s travel insurance is arranged to be paid out if their flight is delayed by 8 hours or […]

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