IBM has partnered with American insurance group AIG to build a ‘smart’ insurance policy that utilises blockchain digital ledger technology.
The project, which reportedly has been completed by IBM and AIG, is for London-based bank Standard Chartered Bank.
The blockchain insurance policy for Standard Chartered apparently manages complex international coverage, and is reportedly the first of its kind in the world.
The insurance policy uses blockchain to facilitate sharing of real-time information for a main policy written in the United Kingdom, where Standard Chartered is headquartered, and three local policies in other parts of the world, namely the United States, Singapore and Kenya, Reuters reported.
The decision to utilise blockchain for an insurance policy has taken because multinational insurance coverage can often be cumbersome due to the huge amount of international regulations, paperwork, and payment terms.
The real-time system apparently allows companies, their units, and insurers, among others, to simultaneously share all data and documents about the policies, the companies said. It also notifies all of those involved about payments.
“There’s a lot of back and forth and it’s all through email chains going around the world, instead of a centralised system,” Carol Barton, President of AIG Multinational was quoted as saying in an interview.
IBM of course is a well known backer of blockchain. Last month it announced an ‘accelerator program’ to help businesses seeking to utilise the fledgling technology.
The accelerator program provides both practical assistance including workshops and mentorships to both developers and businesses seeking to take blockchain networks into production.
In March IBM also launched a cloud-based enterprise-ready Blockchain service to enable firms to build applications on top of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric code set within the IBM Cloud.
Blockchain is most commonly known as the technology underpinning the digital currency Bitcoin. Essentially it is a highly secure database system which enables an organisation to create a digital ledger of information and share it with multiple parties.
IBM’s commitment to blockchain technology is well known. Indeed, it already has a testing service and has been a big supporter of the Hyperledger Project in order to encourage the growth of a blockchain ecosystem on its Bluemix developer cloud.