Re/insurance broker Aon has partnered with Oxfam and insurtech firm Etherisc to launch a blockchain-based insurance platform for smallholder farmers in Sri Lanka.
Nearly 200 farmers have been enrolled in the solution, which aims to deliver micro-insurance for paddy field farmers who are at risk of losing their crops due to extreme weather.
By utilising blockchain, Aon and its partners can automate the claims process so that a farmers do not need to submit claims, and claims adjusters do not need to be sent into the field.
This is expected to reduce administration costs and make the product more affordable for farmers.
The collaboration will combine the reinsurance expertise of Aon with Etherisc’s knowledge in applying blockchain technology to insurance and Oxfam’s familiarity with agriculture in Sri Lanka, as well as its engagement with the local farmer community.
Sanasa Insurance, Oxfam in Sri Lanka’s partner, has also joined the initiative to provide local expertise, networks and operational execution.
“Strong collaboration, such as this initiative with Oxfam and Etherisc, allows us to broaden the potential positive impact we can have on people, families and small businesses around the globe,” said Hugo Wegbrans, the Chief Broking Officer of Europe, Middle East & Africa for Aon.
“At the heart of our work is a mission to empower economic and human possibility – and that is exactly what we are doing here.”
Bojan Kolundzija, the Country Director of Oxfam in Sri Lanka, also commented: “Oxfam in Sri Lanka expertise in climate-smart agriculture and our long-standing engagement with farmer communities, provides us with in-depth knowledge about the opportunities and challenges that farmers have to climate and weather events.”
“Allowing farmers to access the blockchain platform is an important milestone that is bringing an effective and affordable risk transfer mechanism to a large portion of the Sri Lanka economy,” he explained.
Michiel Berende, Chief Inclusive Officer at Etherisc, added: “Farmers represent a third of the workforce and account for almost 20 percent of the economy, yet very few have insurance.
“This made Sri Lanka a perfect candidate to feel the benefits of decentralized, collaborative and automated insurance. This alliance is really a cooperation between all and showcases blockchain for social good.”