The insurers team up with the likes of EY and Microsoft to develop the new platform, which XL Catlin says is the first for the global marine insurance industry

Insurers XL Catlin, MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and ACORD have teamed up to launch a marine insurance platform on Blockchain technology.

XL Catlin says the new global platform is the first for the marine insurance industry.

Developed in partnership with EY, Guardtime and Microsoft, Insurwave will support marine hull insurance and will allow global insurers to transform how they manage risk across their organization.

EY predicts the new platform will support more than half a million automated ledger transactions and help manage risk for more than 1,000 commercial vessels in the first year.

A.P. Moller - Maersk contributed to the development of the blockchain technology as a pilot client and is continuing on the platform with its marine hull portfolio.

Lars Henneberg, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S head of risk and insurance said: “Our ambition is to drive the digital transformation of the transport and logistics industry and we see this platform as a testament to the value that can be extracted from streamlining areas of our industry that still rely on manual and often complex procedures.

”Marine insurance takes up considerable resources for us. Moving it to this platform is helping us automate manual processes and alleviate a range of inefficiencies and frictional costs in the way we have used to trade marine insurance.”

Shaun Crawford, EY’s global insurance leader, added: “It is a proud moment for a number of heavyweight industry participants to be live with a genuine end-to-end blockchain platform in the specialty insurance market.

”All parties have worked extraordinarily hard, as a closely knit team, to get to this exciting milestone. To move from proof of concept just a year ago to a fully functioning platform that is delivering immediate value to clients feels exceptional.”

The first phase of the process is for marine insurance, but the plan is to extend the platform to other lines.

Mike Gault, chief executive of Guardtime said: “We are very proud of the work we have done with EY in developing this platform, beginning with a proof of concept a year ago and then all the way through to this production release.

”This represents an important milestone not only for the insurance industry but also for blockchain technology, proving it can deliver real value to enterprise customers.”

Blockchain set to disrupt the industry

The insurers involved with the project believe this is a momentous occasion and a real step towards the innovation of Blockchain technology in the industry.

Bill Pieroni, president and chief executive at ACORD, said: “This solution represents a true innovation for insurance and demonstrates the potential of blockchain for transforming our industry. We are happy to be part of this initiative as it makes an impact across all insurance stakeholders and the entire value chain.”

Dr. Paul Taffinder, director of strategy and innovation  MS Amlin, added: “MS Amlin has long championed a culture of innovation and investing in new technologies. As a business, we are continuously looking to find new ways of doing things to further improve our client proposition. The success of the marine blockchain platform is a concrete example of where this innovative technology is being deployed to drive positive change in the insurance industry.”

Matthew Kerner, general manager, Azure blockchain engineering at Microsoft, said: “Blockchain is opening up new possibilities for how enterprises do business with one another, turning complex processes into cost-saving business efficiencies. Microsoft is thrilled to work alongside EY, Guardtime, Maersk and marine insurance industry leaders to bring this platform into production on Azure, proving the enterprise value of blockchain.”

Alastair Swift, chief executive at Willis Towers Watson UK, added: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of blockchain technology which has the potential to revolutionize the insurance industry.

”This is the first insurance transaction that has been undertaken through blockchain, simplifying and streamlining the transactional process and creating added value for our clients. We strongly believe this is an industry dynamic and that all carriers and brokers should engage in blockchain to drive improved transactional efficiency and innovation for our clients.”

Martin Henley, chief information officer at XL Catlin, concluded: “With this blockchain, we are bringing together — for the first time — all the parties of the insurance value chain on a single platform.

”Ultimately, through the use of IoT and smart contracts, policies will be updated automatically to reflect the risks covered; and this combination of technologies will help improve efficiency in claims assessment and payment. Those are tangible wins for our clients, no matter their industry. And with the platform going live, we are now ready to start working on opening it up to other insurance segments.”