Blockchain Group Unveils Re-Insurance Prototype

Blockchain, Group, Innovation, Regulation | September 11, 2017 By:

The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) has unveiled its fully-functional re-insurance blockchain prototype at the RVS conference in Monte Carlo.

B3i was created by the world’s two largest re-insurers, Munich Re and Swiss Re, along with insurers Aegon, Allianz and Zurich, in October, 2016. Members of the B3i initiative are collaborating to explore the ability of blockchain technologies to increase efficiency in the exchange of data between re-insurance and insurance companies.

B3i said the prototype 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 re-insurance contracts, while the group’s wider goal of exploring blockchain’s potential is “to build an efficient world-wide industry platform for market participants to more easily cede, handle, and trade risks.”

The consortium also developed an industry business case for the platform across the whole value chain. The consensus among the companies is that a productivity gain of up to 30% is achievable. B3i’s Sylvain De Crom said that all parties involved will gain from this efficiency. This means that brokers, insurers, and reinsurers alike will benefit from lower administration costs and will be able to offer more attractive rates and fees in the future.

B3i’s Paul Meeusen said that 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. He added that the deployment architecture is already close to a production-ready environment and the team is preparing for feature enhancements of the prototype and a first deployment into production in 2018.

Allianz SE chief operating officer Christof Mascher said 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,” said Mascher.

B3i will launch a market beta-testing program for the prototype next month. Existing B3i members and new participants will be able to take part in the test on an equal basis with a common testing agreement. The participants will be granted access to a “sandbox” environment to simulate the creation and settlement of contracts and will be expected to feedback comments and change requests through defined channels. All participants will also gain access to B3i user group workshops until the end of this year.