We create software applications for our clients which provide them with a variety of solutions accessible through our network. Other applications will also be available from our partners. Our vision is to see a variety of applications for our clients to use which will help to reduce friction across the value chain and also improve the quality of data which the market is so reliant on.
Our applications are built using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) which is sometimes referred to as Blockchain. This offers a variety of advantages compared with existing technologies but as DLT matures alongside other technologies such as AI and IOT, we expect see new stack of platforms emerge. This not only offers efficiencies in existing business processes but will catalyse the development of new and innovative business models.
We continually review new technologies which can help to deliver our vision especially where they can combine to create very powerful outcomes in our network.
Our first application is for the Reinsurance market in the form of a Catastrophe Excess of Loss product. This product will be available to the market on our platform for the January 2020 renewal season.
What is Distributed Ledger Technology, and why is it suited to Insurance?
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital application for recording the transaction of assets, transactions or value in which the related data and associated details are recorded in multiple places at the same time. Unlike traditional databases, distributed ledgers have no central data store or administration functionality. In effect, all parties in the network have the same copy of the data or ledger. Hence the description – distributed ledger.
At B3i, we are working with industry partners to use and embed this technology into various applications for the insurance market which enable users to achieve improvements in efficiency, cost and speed.
Key features of DLT:
- In a Distributed Ledger, each node processes and verifies every item, thereby generating a record of each item and creating a consensus on each item's veracity. A distributed ledger can be used to record static data, such as a registry, and dynamic data, i.e., transactions.
- Smart Contracts are capable of automatically validating a condition and it will automatically determine whether an 'asset' should go to a nominee or back to source, or a combination thereof. As part of the process the decentralised ledger also stores and replicates the document ensuring security and immutability.
- Immutability is the ability for a Blockchain ledger to remain a permanent, indelible, and unalterable history of transactions. Crucially immutability has the added benefit of ensuring trust and integrity to the data businesses record everyday.
- Consensus ensures relevant information is shared to only defined parties across a node; effectively only parties involved in a contract have access to the same information as it is updated.
- Secure distributed ledger technology ensures greater security for transactions on the node due to its decentralised nature and immutability.
The insurance value chain is designed to link capital with risk. Insurers, brokers, reinsurers and others aid the flow of this capital but over time, data gaps have emerged and so have inconsistencies in the transactions and with the reinsurance process, this is very evident. Amongst the issues are:
- Sequential and non-integrated processes
- Lack of standardisation
- Asymmetric information and poor audit trails
- High dependency on error-prone manual processes
Within a DLT enabled network, the visibility of the risk increases through the shared data and real time transactions increase speed of communication. More importantly, the need for reconciliations is significantly reduced if not removed altogether. What this results in is greater efficiency, transparency, contract certainty and accelerated payments.
The B3i Cat XoL application will enable customers to realise these benefits. The production release of this application will be available in Q4 2019.
Companies are currently working with B3i to evaluate the application and provide valuable user feedback.