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Marsh L.L.C. is collaborating with IBM, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development and ISN Software Corp. to produce the first commercial blockchain solution for proof of insurance, Marsh said in a statement late Monday.
The project is in its pilot phase and is expected to go into production later this year, the statement said. The application is being built on the open source hyperledger fabric technology and IBM blockchain platform.
Hyperledger is one type of digital ledger technology, and the Marsh project is one of several under development in the insurance and financial services industry.
The first Marsh client to pilot the solution will be Dallas-based ISN Software Corp., which provides online contractor and supplier management services.
The Marsh blockchain solution is expected to allow clients to speed up necessary business functions such as hiring contractors and transferring risk while increasing coverage certainty, the statement said, adding proof of insurance is a key business requirement in many industries.
“Marsh sees great opportunity in leveraging blockchain technology to better serve our clients by maximizing efficiency and creating new opportunities in the insurance value chain,” Sastry Durvasula, chief digital officer and chief data and analytics officer for Marsh in Phoenix, said in the statement.
Early-stage projects such as this are expected to pave the way for wider adoption of the technology. “We believe strategic engagements such as this one with IBM, ACORD and ISN will help accelerate the adoption of further blockchain applications benefiting our clients across industries,” Mr. Durvasula said.
“This is an ideal example of how blockchain can be used on a much broader scale to drive real business results,” Sandip Patel, general manager, insurance industry, for IBM, said in the statement.
“The insurance industry has been dependent on paper certificates of insurance, manually populated by an insurance agent,” said Brett Parker, technical insurance lead for ISN. “By digitizing the policy information, we can streamline the process, saving our customers time to focus on their core competencies.”
While the number of incidents and casualties declined in 2017, a report released Monday by Marsh L.L.C. said terrorism is still a significant threat and that the insurance market is adapting to handle the evolving risk.