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Blockchain takeup on the rise in insurance


NEW YORK — Distributed ledger technology, widely known as blockchain, is making inroads into the insurance sector, according to a panel of speakers at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s Risktech Forum in New York on Monday.

The insurance industry is one of two in the world “that is doing something real with this technology,” said John Fohr, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based TrustLayer.

Blockchain’s development and adoption by the insurance industry is being aided by a few industry groups including Malvern, Pennsylvania-based The Institutes, which is working on use cases for reinsurance placement and personal auto, according to Brendan Picha, head of products for The Institutes RiskStream Collaborative.

The proof of insurance and first notice of loss application in personal auto could be expanded downstream, and ultimately the group could look to develop a commercial first notice, he said.

Managing vendors and contracts and proofs of insurance is an arduous task, according to New York-based Courtney Osborne, vice president of insurance and risk management for El Ad US Holding Inc., a real estate development company focused on North America.

Each of El Ad’s real estate development project has some 300 to 400 vendors, the management of which can be quite challenging, she said. “That’s a lot of contracts to manage, certificates of insurance manage,” and is extremely time-consuming, she said. Using distributed ledger technology, TrustLayer was “able to address my two key pain points,” she said.

“Now, risk managers can focus on much more complex topics “ rather than simply tracking paper, Mr. Fohr said.





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