Maersk successfully pilots first marine insurance blockchain platform

Maersk successfully pilots first marine insurance blockchain platform

Insurwave, the world’s first marine hull insurance blockchain platform, is up and running and is ready for commercial use after going through a successful pilot phase.

EY, Guardtime, A.P. Møller-Maersk, Microsoft and insurance firms Willis Towers Watson, XL Catlin, MS Amlin and Acord have started using the platform, EY

“In an increasingly complex and ever evolving risk landscape, global businesses will use the platform to transform how they manage risk across their organization, and how they work with brokers and (re)insurers,” EY, part of Ernst & Young, noted in a release.

Insurwave, built by a joint venture between EY and Guardtime, leverages blockchain and distributed ledger technologies Microsoft Azure infrastructure and Acord data standards. It 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.

“By connecting participants in a secure, private network with an accurate, immutable audit trail and services to execute processes, the platform establishes a first of its kind digital insurance value chain,” EY stated in a release.

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’s head of risk and insurance, commented: “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. Operating around 350 owned container vessels across the world, 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 global insurance leader, said in the release: “It is a proud moment for a number of heavy weight 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 Insurwave rollout is focused on marine insurance, and EY, Guardtime and Microsoft plan to roll it out to other types of business insurance for the marine cargo, global logistics, aviation and energy sectors.

Talking about how marine insurance might develop with more advanced technology in the future Martin Henley, chief information officer at XL Catlin, said: “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.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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