ITL FOCUS: Blockchain

ITL FOCUS is a monthly initiative featuring meaningful topics as they relate to innovation in the risk management and insurance industries.






While the pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitization of the insurance industry -- turning years into months -- it has also shown us how very far we still have to go. As a rule of thumb, I've heard consultants say that 50% of the operating costs need to be driven out of the industry in the next five years.


We'll still have to handle the mountains of information that come with assessing the risk for billions of policies and processing and paying all the claims. But what if we could use a lot less paper and if the handoffs could happen automatically, rather than requiring a game of phone tag, a string of emails or even having someone walk a file to another part of the building?


Blockchain has held out that promise for some time now. It's lost a bit of its shine because it's been identified as a hot technology of the year for so many years in a row. But it may be coming into its own, with some uses starting to move into production. The RiskStream consortium (with which I've done a series of webinars, available here [link]) has, for instance, an implementation for first notice of loss for car accidents that lets all parties contribute to a permanent record, captured in a blockchain, and avoid all the calling for details and manual sharing of records that occurs now.


We've collected our thought leaders' latest thinking below. Please keep an eye out for updates, as this will be a hot topic for us for a long time to come.



- Paul Carroll, ITL's Editor-in-Chief



As part of this month’s ITL FOCUS, we spoke with John Sviokla, strategic adviser at Manifold and former senior partner and chief marketing officer of PwC, about the future impacts and strategic implications of blockchain.

You’ve made a career out of identifying the strategic possibilities of technology — going back at least to the seminal piece about e-commerce that you co-wrote in Harvard Business Review in the early 1990s, before most of us had even heard of an internet browser. How revolutionary do you think blockchain will be?


"I think blockchains are going to be a big deal for at least three things: trading, in general; supply chains; and identity, in particular."



The Future of Blockchain Series

Blockchain has incredible potential to streamline business functions and open up opportunities for a wide range of innovations. Check out the first two episodes in our series, where we cover personal and commercial lines, and stay tuned for our final episode, releasing February 8th, where we discuss blockchain usage in Life & Annuities.


Blockchain in Insurance: 3 Use Cases

Many blockchain insurance projects are lingering at the proof of concept stage, but three trailblazing applications are emerging.


Where Blockchain Shines Right Now

The seafood supply chain, for instance, can become transparent and trustworthy, while blockchain automates location updates.


Blockchain: Golden Opportunity in LatAm

Blockchain provides a golden opportunity for real, tangible operating efficiencies in Latin America and for transforming the region's image.


COVID-19’s Effect on P&C: Opportunity for Tech?

Whether via IoT, AI, blockchain or other technology, firms that have made progress have more room to withstand the economic downturn’s effects.


How Technology Is Changing Warranty

Technology is changing the warranty experience for consumers, providers and retailers -- even small to midsize ones.


Blockchain: A Hammer Looking for a Nail?

Why does netting of subrogation payments continue to be seen as a problem that needs to be solved when costs have plunged?



Get to know this month's FOCUS article authors:

Ivan Kot

Colin McQueen

Patrick Schmid

Steve Davidson

Kevin May

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Insurance Thought Leadership

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Insurance Thought Leadership

Insurance Thought Leadership (ITL) delivers engaging, informative articles from our global network of thought leaders and decision makers. Their insights are transforming the insurance and risk management marketplace through knowledge sharing, big ideas on a wide variety of topics, and lessons learned through real-life applications of innovative technology.

We also connect our network of authors and readers in ways that help them uncover opportunities and that lead to innovation and strategic advantage.


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