Russian software architects and entrepreneurs have come up with a revolutionary insurance system that uses Bitcoin to hold client money and allows users to make decisions on every aspect of insurance without intermediaries – Teambrella.
A brainchild of Alex Paperno, Vlad Kravchuk, and Eugene Porubaev, Teambrella was conceived with the aim of making insurance fair, efficient, and transparent. It implements a peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance organisation to prevent conflict of interests between policyholders and insurance companies.
How Teambrella works
Teambrella has many similarities to PeerCover, the P2P insurance brainchild of Kiwi Chris Logan
It is essentially a platform that allows people to create a team for providing each other coverage for whatever they want, however they want, and without the influence of insurance companies. In Teambrella, teammates, or peers, are both provider and consumer of insurance service.
Anyone can form a team. Each team can be created on the likeness of peers or insured objects.
Teams are self-governing user communities that get to manage all insurance functions, such as setting of insurance rules, signing of new members, appraisal of claims, and approval and payment of reimbursements.
Peers’ collective control of insurance functions is exercised through a voting mechanism. Voting can be delegated by peers to proxies. The weight of each vote depends on the premiums paid by the peer.
It is also through voting that peers are assigned their risk coefficient. The risk coefficient becomes the basis for how much a peer will need to dole out in case someone in the team needs reimbursement. A peer who’s voted as a “risky driver,” for example, may pay more than someone who’s safer. The safer driver may also get more coverage from the other.
A big difference from PeerCover and other P2P ideas is peers make reimbursement payments using bitcoin from their digital wallets. Bitcoin wallets are multi-signatured. Funds can only be accessed by a peer if three out of eight of his teammates allow the transaction.
Logan said PeerCover on the other hand doesn’t pool peers’ balances, although payouts are shared via its payout process which includes email voting.
Logan said another difference was Teambrella would not be limited by borders either, whereas PeerCover uses NZ dollar and only accepts NZ residents.
“Teambrella is skipping any regulations, ie AML, independent complaints process so Teambrella can market to the whole world,” Logan said. “But it would only appeal to a smaller percentage of people (bitcoin users).”
He concluded: “Overall [they’re] appealing to more people than PeerCover. So they may have a chance of getting it off the ground.”
Logan, who is a former Marsh
actuary, has been philosophical about PeerCover’s failure to take off
and has focused his energies on a crowdfunding insurance idea instead.
He also co-hosts a Twitter chat session #insurChat every Thursday at 8am.
“#insurChat addresses a different insurtech topic each week for 30 minutes,” said. Logan, who co-hosts the session where anyone can ask or answer questions or even go off topic.
“Participants are mainly other insurtech founders, eg Teambrella, AskKodiak etc. This morning’s session was on P2P insurance but we have also touched on Blockchain, Trust, Commercial lines, etc.
“I’ve found most folk, including myself, are straight up when it comes to answering questions.”
Find out more about #insureChat here
For more information about Teambrella, see the project’s white paper at https://teambrella.com/WhitePaper.pdf