Japanese insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., alongside NTT Data Corporation have announced that the pair have completed the Proof of Concept (PoC) for the application of blockchain technology to marine cargo insurance claims.
According to research undertaken by Tokio Marine & Nichido and NTT Data, this was Japan’s first case and also a pioneering initiative to leverage blockchain technology in marine cargo insurance claims’ processes among eight different global sites.
An overview of the PoC explains that the pair verified if it’s possible to promptly distribute, share and utilise the real data used for insurance payment procedures, such as damage reports, photography of damaged cargo, invoice and so on, on the blockchain among eight overseas claims settling agents and surveyors located in Europe, Americas and Asia.
The firms explain that from a technical standpoint, they were able to confirm that large data, such as photography of damaged cargo, can be smoothly shared among participants by utilising blockchain technology.
The PoC overseas sites were located in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S., Chile, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand, and the PoC lasted from November 2017 to August 2018, with some of the main verified results highlighted below.
For the insured, the expected effects of utilising blockchain technology for marine cargo insurance includes reduced operations of documents preparation and submission necessary for insurance claims, as well as accelerated insurance payment – which could come down from as much as more than one month to one week at most, reportedly.
For the insurer, blockchain technology is expected to reduce operations of documents sharing to overseas claims settling agents.
Overseas claims settling agents are expected to experience the most beneficial impacts of utilising blockchain technology, which includes reduced operations of documents guidance and delivery documents with remarks confirmation necessary for insurance claims; reduced operations of confirming insurance contract with insurer (minimized the delay of confirmation due to time difference); reduced operations of data sharing with surveyors; and accelerated insurance payment by obtaining necessary insurance data immediately.
Finally, for surveyors, the utilisation of blockchain is expected to result in accelerated survey by confirming documents as early as possible, and improved survey quality by confirming insurance contact immediately.
“We have confirmed the effectiveness of blockchain technology in marine cargo insurance claims’ procedures through this PoC. Tokio Marine & Nichido and NTT DATA will continue to work on the remaining objectives obtained from this PoC and aim to achieve the practical use in FY 2019,” said the pair.