EuropeFinance and InsuranceTech

Maersk behind launch of marine insurance blockchain platform

The blockchain revolution sweeping through shipping has made its way to the marine insurance niche. Maersk has teamed up with Microsoft consultants EY, data security firm Guardtime, and three insurance outfits – Amlin, Willis Towers Watson and XL Catlin – to launch the world’s first blockchain platform for marine insurance.

The blockchain platform – built on Microsoft Azure global cloud technology after a 20-week proof of concept – 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. It is set to go live from next year.

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.

Lars Henneberg, A.P. Møller-Maersk’s head of risk and insurance, said: “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. Blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate the desired development that is long overdue.”

Maersk has been leading shipping’s blockchain charge, earlier this year teaming with IBM to look at how the technology could improve its container shipping operations.

Jonathan Zhao, EY’s Asia-Pacific insurance leader, commented: “Blockchain’s potential to transform the insurance ecosystem has always been clear. What we have done is to move forward from potential to reality. This solution is the first to apply blockchain’s transparency, security and standardisation to marine insurance and is ready for commercial use.”

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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