Income, Metlife work on blockchain solution for insurance claims

Programme seeks to automate the initial phases of life insurance claims

Income, Metlife work on blockchain solution for insurance claims

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

NTUC Income, MetLife’s Asia innovation centre LumenLab, and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are working on a blockchain-based solution for life insurance claims, hinging on the practice of placing obituaries.

When a person dies, placing an obituary is usually one of the first tasks family members carry out, and finding out whether the deceased has a life insurance policy and filing a claim are sometimes put on the backburner, according to a statement by the firms.

The information for placing an obituary and filing an insurance claim have significant overlap, which led the three organisations to apply blockchain technology to automate the life insurance claim process for grieving families. The LumenLab-developed solution, known as LifeChain, enables SPH to securely encrypt and share verification data used for obituary placement with Income to begin the insurance claim process.

Lifechain will begin piloting this month, with a randomly selected sample of 1,000 Income life insurance policyholders. The programme could potentially include other insurers in the future, according to SPH.

During the pilot, family members of the deceased who place obituaries in The Straits Times will be informed about Lifechain. Upon their consent, the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number will be submitted into the system as hashed data to trigger a search for a matching life insurance policy. When a match is found, SPH will inform family members within one working day, while Lifechain will send an automatic notification to Income via email to initiate the claims process.

In case a match is not found, family members will also be informed by SPH, allowing them to begin manual checks and file claims with insurers.

“At Income, we are constantly looking to enhance customers’ experience with insurance,” said Peter Tay, Income COO and head of its Digital Transformation Office. “Through technology and innovations, we aim to influence the way that customers fact-find, enquire, purchase, claim and engage with us. Blockchain technology offers greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, efficiency and speed of transactions. These value propositions resonate with Income and we are excited to be the first insurer to come on-board Lifechain. We believe it will empower us to offer optimal protection of our policyholders’ personal information while enhancing their customer experience with Income.”

“SPH hopes to expand Lifechain to include more insurers in time to come to bring greater convenience to family members attending to the deceased’s administrative matters securely,” said Julian Tan, chief of digital business at SPH. “This initiative is also in line with our push for the digital business, tapping on innovation and growing our partnerships to serve our customers better. SPH aims to be the go-to partner for insurers to reach policyholders’ beneficiaries, as soon as advertisers place an obituary in the future.”

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