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MARSH’S BLOCKCHAIN-BASED PROOF OF INSURANCE
Digital ledger technology, generically referred to as blockchain, is beginning to find a home in the insurance industry, as evidenced by Marsh LLC’s use of the technology to solve the common and widespread challenge of proof of insurance.
“We wanted to make sure there was a level of cross-industry usage for this use case,” said Sastry Durvasula, chief digital officer and chief data and analytics officer for Marsh in Phoenix. “Proof of insurance is a common problem with all industries.”
The project, which is a 2018 Business Insurance Innovation Awards winner, began in 2017.
“When we created Marsh Digital Labs last year, we started to work on a few use cases for blockchain, and this rose to the top,” Mr. Durvasula said.
Development took roughly six to nine months, and the project was announced in April, Mr. Durvasula said.
The project was seeking “automation and the removal of friction points and operational inefficiencies,” Mr. Durvasula said.
Digital ledger technology has been widely touted as a way to improve efficiency in the insurance industry and realize cost savings.
The project has grown since its introduction in April. In September, Marsh announced a partnership with Salesforce.com Inc. that would allow users of that company’s software platform access to certificates of insurance via the blockchain solution.
“Leveraging the connection between the IBM hyperledger with Salesforce is a very powerful extension that widens access of our proof of insurance capabilities to our clients,” Mr. Durvasula said.
Most recently, at the beginning of October, Marsh announced a partnership with Evident ID Inc. to extend the proof of insurance blockchain capabilities for clients in the sharing and gig economy, he added.
Growth and expansion should continue, he said.
“I think the next logical extension would be to advance the platform with more features,” Mr. Durvasula said. “We have a number of clients in various industries that are interested.”
There also may be further progress with insurers and industry organizations, he said.
“We have done more on the client side to date but are exploring opportunities on the carrier side as well,” Mr. Durvasula said.
“The other important thing is our partnership with ACORD and crystallizing the data standards around digital insurance certification,” Mr. Durvasula said. “There will be more advancement on that front as the blockchain evolves.”
Such collaboration will be vital to the success of the emerging technology, he said.
“Interoperability, I think, will be probably the most crucial element of scalable and sustainable blockchains,” Mr. Durvasula said.
“Interoperability will drive it to the next level, and I think that’s really a priority from a platform perspective,” he said.
The insurance and risk management sector is embracing developments in technology to produce innovative products and services that are transforming everything from risk assessment to staff training.