Microsoft is collaborating with industry partners, including professional services firm EY and blockchain software provider Guardtime, to create the world’s first blockchain platform for marine insurance.
The platform, powered by Microsoft Azure, will connect clients, brokers, insurers and third parties to distributed common ledgers that capture data about identities, risk and exposures, and integrates this information with insurance contracts.
“Microsoft believes blockchain is a transformational technology with the ability to significantly reduce the friction of doing business, especially streamlining business processes shared across multiple organisations,” said Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer for Microsoft Azure. “Marine insurance is a prime example of a complex business process that can be optimised with blockchain. We remain committed to bringing blockchain to the enterprise, and are glad to work with EY, Guardtime and other industry experts to develop and deploy blockchain solutions powered by Microsoft Azure.”
The platform’s capabilities will include the ability to create and maintain asset data from multiple parties; to link data to policy contracts; to receive and act upon information that results in a pricing or a business process change; to connect client assets, transactions and payments; and to capture and validate up-to-date first notification or loss data.
“Blockchain’s potential to transform the insurance ecosystem has always been clear,” said Shaun Crawford, EY global insurance leader. “What we have done is to move forward from potential to reality. This solution is the first to apply blockchain’s transparency, security and standardisation to marine insurance and is ready for commercial use.”
The platform will help address challenges associated with the complexity of the marine insurance industry – such as multiple parties, long paper chains and duplication, high transaction volumes and significant levels of reconciliation, all of which can hamper transparency, compliance and accurate exposure management.