Insurance giants on the same side as blockchain prototype debuts

Find out what brings Tokio Marine, Sompo Japan, Hannover Re, XL Catlin, Swiss Re and more to the same team

Insurance giants on the same side as blockchain prototype debuts

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

It’s finally here – an integrated blockchain solution for the re/insurance industry has been unveiled, with the launch of a working beta-version at the 61st Monte Carlo RVS (Rendez-Vous de Septembre) conference.

B3i (Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative), the group of global insurers and reinsurers in charge of the project, also shared its vision and plans during the event. Members include Achmea, Aegon, Ageas, Allianz, Generali, Hannover Re, Liberty Mutual, Munich Re, RGA, SCOR, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine Holdings, XL Catlin, and Zurich Insurance Group.

Launched in 2016, the consortium has been working on a blockchain-driven distributed ledger for reinsurance transactions. B3i said the platform uses state-of-the-art distributed ledger technology to enable secure, confidential, and efficient transactions in a blockchain network.

The short-term focus is on handling reinsurance contracts, while the group’s wider goal of exploring blockchain potential is “to build an efficient world-wide industry platform for market participants to more easily cede, handle, and trade risks.”

“Over the past four months, a dedicated, combined team drawn from B3i member firms has produced a working prototype covering the core functionalities required to enable a distributed smart contract management system for Property Cat XoL contracts,” said Paul Meeusen of B3i, and also director of global business solutions at Swiss Re.

He added that the deployment architecture is already close to a production-ready environment – with first deployment into production set for 2018. With the platform, B3i expects a productivity gain of up to 30% – resulting in lower administration costs for brokers, insurers, and reinsurers.

Next month, a market beta-testing programme for the prototype will be launched. Non-B3i members are welcome to participate in the testing.

“The initiative shows that there is a lot of potential in joining forces across organisations to explore new solutions and technologies. As an industry, we need to collaborate and co-create, not only to continuously improve standards, but to strive for ever better solutions for our customers,” commented Allianz SE chief operating officer Christof Mascher.

For Antony Elliott, group head of business transformation at Zurich, B3i has brought insurers and reinsurers together with a “real spirit” of collaboration. He said they look forward to launching the market beta-testing programme.

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