The blockchain platform – built on Microsoft’s Azure global cloud technology – is positioned to deliver significant value to the insurance industry and is planned to be implemented from 2018 onwards. The first of its kind platform’s initial phase rollout will involve deploying the benefits of blockchain for end-to-end use across an entire marine industry.

The blockchain platform connects clients, brokers, insurers and third parties to distributed common ledgers that capture data about identities, risk and exposures and integrates this information with insurance contracts. The platform’s capabilities include the ability to create and maintain asset data from multiple parties; to link data to policy contracts; to receive and act upon information that results in a pricing or a business process change; to connect client assets, transactions and payments; and to capture and validate up-to-date First Notification or Loss data.

Shaun Crawford, EY Global Insurance Leader, says:
“Blockchain’s potential to transform the insurance ecosystem has always been clear. What we have done is to move from potential to reality. Our solution is the first to deliver blockchain’s transparency, security and standardization to marine insurance and is ready for commercial use. We look forward to deploying this technology across the insurance industry and are exploring how these findings will be applied to other specialty insurance markets and wider market initiatives later.”
The blockchain platform is well-suited to the marine insurance providing solutions to a sector with a complex international ecosystem involving multiple parties, long paper chains and duplication, high transaction volumes and significant levels of reconciliation – all potentially preventing transparency, compliance and accurate exposure management. The blockchain platform connects disparate data and processes to address the issues associated with reconciliation and error applicability, and the platform is relevant beyond the marine industry.

Lars Henneberg, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S Head of Risk and Insurance, says:
“It is a priority for us to leverage technology to streamline and automate our interaction with the insurance market. Insurance transactions are currently far too tedious and frictional. The distance between risk and capital is simply too far. The blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate the desired development which is long overdue.”
Thanks to this blockchain platform, insurers are now able to optimize their capital through greater transparency and less need for manual data entry or reconciliation, lower administration costs – all contributing to a more efficient insurance industry.

Mike Gault, Guardtime Chief Executive Officer, says:
The KSI blockchain stack is a proven technology for securing the physical, software and information supply chains that enterprises rely on for the integrity of their businesses. We are thrilled to be partnering with EY to expand the number of real-world customer problems solved with our technology. Guardtime’s technology and EY’s deep domain knowledge represents a formidable combination for customers looking to solve hard problems with blockchain technology.”

Blockchain set to transform the insurance sector

Blockchain enables a secure way of capturing and sharing data among chosen participants in real time with an immutable audit train. This can drive the following benefits: real-time decision- making, error-free data, process fulfillment, central dataset, faster financial transactions, and innovation of new services without cost challenges and auditability of controls. These disruptive technologies set to transform the insurance sector.

Bill Pieroni, President and CEO at the global insurance industry organization, ACORD, says:
“We are excited to partner with EY on this innovative blockchain solution for the insurance industry. This first-of-a-kind effort has the potential to dramatically reduce time, cost, and risk across the entire insurance value chain. ACORD looks forward to working together to help our members realize the benefits associated with blockchain."
Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure:
“We are excited to see that EY and Guardtime are working with Microsoft Azure to provide greater automation, service improvement and efficiencies to the marine insurance value chain. This initiative is particularly compelling because it demonstrates the production potential of Enterprise Smart Contracts in a consortium leveraging the core competencies of EY as a leading business consulting partner along with Guardtime’s strengths in the Blockchain/Distributed Ledger space built on robust Microsoft Azure cloud services.”
Dr. Paul Taffinder, Director of Strategy and Innovation, MS Amlin, says:
“We started this work in 2016 with an intuitive belief that blockchain technology could transform the marine insurance market. We are excited that we are already in a position to test a practical platform though which we will be transacting business in a completely new way. It’s part of our MS Amlin EDGE program to seize advantage through tactical and more radical opportunities for digital disruption and business model innovation.”
Martin Henley, Chief Information Officer, XL Catlin:
“This successful proof of concept is ground breaking. While the insurance industry has been looking at Blockchain as a way to disrupt some of its processes and become more efficient, this will lead to “real life” innovations. We will learn from those and apply them to other insurance segments – and ultimately better deliver for our clients, across the industry."