Other parts of this series:
- Smart start-ups are helping insurers wise up to the potential of artificial intelligence
- Savvy start-ups are using artificial intelligence to build insurance products that delight customers
- Insurtech firms point the way to major changes in the insurance industry with their Internet of Things offerings
- Blockchain lures scores of savvy start-ups eager to disrupt the insurance industry
- Insurtech firms are starting to win the hearts of big insurers
Blockchain technology has attracted a wide range of start-ups eager to disrupt the insurance industry. The innovative applications developed by these insurtech firms are likely change how carriers interact with their partners, brokers and customers.
Blockchain’s potential to improve dramatically the efficiency, security and transparency of digital transactions has attracted scores of eager start-ups. They’re deploying this highly-promising technology to develop an array of innovative applications. These applications, although many of them are still in their infancy, are likely to transform the financial services industry.
The banking sector has attracted most of the developers’ early attention. But many blockchain start-ups are starting to target the insurance market. Traditional interactions between insurers, brokers and customers, as well as many back-office functions performed by carriers, are ripe for disruption.
Blockchain, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, is likely to rank alongside artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of the most influential technologies in the insurance industry over the next decade. Accenture has been quick to recognize the potential of blockchain. We’ve formed a specialist consultancy to help our clients deploy this technology and recently partnered with, and invested in, emerging blockchain specialist Ripple. Furthermore, Accenture has announced an “editable blockchain” that will help financial institutions safeguard against errors entering their blockchain applications. It will also allow them to comply with regulatory requirements such as “the right to be forgotten.”
Start-ups are going to play a critical role in the development and implementation of blockchain insurance solutions. Crypto-currencies, distributed ledgers and smart contracts will be among the key areas of focus. Innovative blockchain start-ups include:
Dynamis: UK firm Dynamis is developing a peer-to-peer supplementary unemployment insurance product, based on blockchain-enabled smart contracts, that will use policyholders’ “social capital” in place of underwriters. Policyholders are identified by using their social media profiles and this enables their peers to verify each other’s employment status.
SafeShare: This UK firm uses blockchain technology to provide multiple parties with insurance cover at short notice, for varying periods, at competitive rates. It has teamed up with Vrumi, a start-up that connects homeowners with professionals looking to hire workspace, to offer its customers insurance.
Saldo.mx: Mexican mobile payments platform Saldo.mx is using blockchain technology to develop its Consuelo health and life insurance offering. Aimed at the low-income market, the Consuelo micro-insurance product uses blockchain technology to by-pass intermediaries, lower costs and ensure the integrity of data.
Teambrella: Russian start-up Teambrella provides a peer-to-peer insurance platform that allows users, “teammates,” to provide cover for each other without involving intermediaries. Teammates make contributions into a secure Bitcoin wallet and, if someone lodges a claim, they vote whether to release funds to the claimant.
Everledger: U.K. firm Everledger uses blockchain technology to facilitate the finance and insurance of diamonds. Its blockchain solution counters fraud and protects valuable items such as diamonds by validating their authenticity and ownership.
Ascribe: This US company uses blockchain technology to protect works of art from illicit copying. Its blockchain solution allows artists and writers to create unique copies of their work that can be traded but not replicated.
The wide range of insurance solutions being developed by these firms shows the enormous flexibility and potential of blockchain technology. Blockchain applications, together with solutions built around the IoT and artificial intelligence, are going to redefine much of the insurance industry. And insurtech firms will be at the forefront of this transformation.
For further information about the impact of blockchain, the IoT and artificial intelligence on the insurance industry, take a look at this link. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.
To find out more about Accenture’s “editable blockchain” innovation follow this link: