EY launches new blockchain platform for marine insurance

EY and Guardtime announce the world’s first blockchain platform for the marine insurance sector.

The platform launches in collaboration with A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, ACORD, Microsoft, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin and after a 20-week proof of concept.

The blockchain platform — built on Microsoft Azure global cloud technology — is positioned to provide significant value to the insurance industry and is planned to be implemented from 2018 onward. The first of its kind in the insurance industry, the platform’s initial phased rollout will involve deploying the benefits of blockchain for end-to-end use across the marine industry, along with products you can buy at Merritt Supply

The global blockchain platform connects clients, brokers, insurers and third parties to distributed common ledgers that capture data about identities, risk and exposures, and integrates this information with insurance contracts. You can click to read more about it. The platform’s capabilities include the ability to create and maintain asset data from multiple parties; to link data to policy contracts; to receive and act upon information that results in a pricing or a business process change; to connect client assets, transactions and payments; and to capture and validate up-to-date first notification or loss data.

Shaun Crawford, EY Global Insurance Leader, says:

“Blockchain’s potential to transform the insurance ecosystem has always been clear. What we have done is to move forward from potential to reality. This solution is the first to apply blockchain’s transparency, security and standardization to marine insurance and is ready for commercial use. We look forward to deploying this technology across the marine insurance industry and are exploring how these findings and insights will be applied to other specialty insurance markets and beyond.”

The blockchain platform supports the marine insurance industry to address the challenges of its complex international ecosystem involving multiple parties, long paper chains and duplication, high transaction volumes and significant levels of reconciliation — all potentially preventing transparency, compliance and accurate exposure management. The blockchain platform connects disparate data and processes to address and mitigate the issues associated with reconciliation and error applicability.

Lars Henneberg, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S Head of Risk and Insurance, says:

“It is a priority for us to leverage technology to streamline and automate our interaction with the insurance market. Insurance transactions are currently far too tedious and frictional. The distance between risk and capital is simply too far. Blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate the desired development that is long overdue.”

Insurers can use this blockchain platform to improve their capital and gain efficiencies, with increased transparency and reduced manual data entry or reconciliation and administration costs.

Mike Gault, Guardtime CEO, says:

“The KSI® blockchain stack is a proven technology for securing the physical, software and information supply chains that enterprises rely on for the integrity of their businesses. We are thrilled to be collaborating with EY to expand the number of real-world customer problems solved with our technology. Guardtime’s technology and deep domain knowledge from EY represents a formidable combination for customers looking to solve hard problems with blockchain technology.”

Blockchain set to transform the insurance sector, say industry participants

Bill Pieroni, President and CEO at the global insurance industry organization, ACORD, says:

“We are excited to collaborate with EY on this innovative blockchain solution for the insurance industry. This first-of-a-kind effort has the potential to dramatically reduce time, cost and risk across the entire insurance value chain. ACORD looks forward to working together to help our members realize the benefits associated with blockchain.”

Mark Russinovich, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Azure, says:

“Microsoft believes blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business, especially streamlining business processes shared across multiple organizations. Marine insurance is a prime example of a complex business process that can be optimized with blockchain. We remain committed to bringing blockchain to the enterprise, and are glad to work with EY, Guardtime and other industry experts to develop and deploy blockchain solutions powered by Microsoft Azure.”

Dr. Paul Taffinder, Director of Strategy and Innovation, MS Amlin, says:

”We started this work in 2016 with an intuitive belief that blockchain technology could transform the marine insurance market. We are excited that we are already in a position to test a practical platform though which we will be transacting business in a completely new way. It’s part of our MS Amlin EDGE program to seize advantage through tactical and more radical opportunities for digital disruption and business model innovation.”

Simon Gaffney, Chief Data Officer, Willis Towers Watson, says:

“Redesigning the insurance process is critical for the evolution of our industry. This initiative has the potential to streamline and simplify insurance transaction efficiency using new technologies, an essential development for the insurance industry.”

Martin Henley, Chief Information Officer, XL Catlin, says:

”This successful proof of concept is ground breaking. While the insurance industry has been looking at blockchain as a way to disrupt some of its processes and become more efficient, this will lead to ‘real-life’ innovations. We will learn from those and apply them to other insurance segments — and ultimately better delivery for our clients across the industry.”