Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology, is creating a profound impact on business processes across industries. It is gaining momentum in the insurance sector more than in any other industry and has the potential to bring-in a revolution. The scope for Blockchain in high in insurance as a lot of interactions in the value chain involve third parties and require secure upkeep of customer data. Blockchain-integrated smart contract can be exploited to self-execute the contract conditions which will automate certain processes such as claim, policy service and will provide an enhanced customer experience. Insure-tech start-ups are making the most of it by building solutions around it and luring the industry giants to invest in them. Blockchain has created strong traction among technology stalwarts as they feel that it has the capability to change the world the same way the Internet did.
We envision Blockchain to be productive across the following functional areas in the insurance industry:
Customer identity details can be cryptographically stored in the secure ledger which is immutable in nature. The identity proof, once verified, can be shared by a consortium of interrelated participants. Agent contract and commission details of the agents can be incorporated in a smart contract that self-executes, based on defined conditions.
Customer-specific data can be fetched from third party systems like government databases using smart contract which executes when a new member is registered in the system. Blockchain eliminates extended submission of documents by customers and the tedious verification processes, thereby accelerating the underwriting process.
The policy details can be incorporated as smart contract that auto executes policy conditions such as periodic premium charges, auto renewal of policies. The money transactions can be automated by creating a consortium network with participating banks which will eliminate third party settlement process.
Blockchain has the proficiency to detect fraudulent claims which occur in case of multiple claim initiations. A consortium network of insurers will detect any such fraudulent claims. Smart contract will come into play for the claim automation process. A distributed ledger integrated with smart contract can be shared with the third party service providers which will automate claim management, thereby enabling the insurer to provide stress-free customer experience.
Effective implementation of Blockchain rests with the insurers. They need to embrace the technology by identifying the right use cases that best cater to their business needs. A blueprint mapping the business benefits needs to be built to justify investments and build prototypes. The step forward will be to implement the technology in a specific functional area after a thorough due diligence on the impact on the other enterprise systems. This success story can be used to encourage other insurers to form or join a consortium which will make the most of the distributed ledger.