PwC spotlights blockchain at insurance event

  • Blockchain focus: PwC insurance and blockchain leaders in Monte Carlo included: Patrick Maeder, left, Pauline Adam Kalfon, Michael Cook, Arthur Wightman, Dr Gerhard Lohmann, chairman of B3i, and Steve O’Hearn (Photograph supplied)
  • Blockchain focus: PwC insurance and blockchain leaders and industry attendees at a round table discussion at Le Meridien hotel in Monte Carlo (Photograph supplied)

Blockchain initiatives are being pursued by four out of five companies that were surveyed by PwC.

Insurers and reinsurers are among those exploring the technology’s potential to transform the industry. The topic was raised at the Reinsurance Rendez-Vous 2018 conference in Monte Carlo, with PwC also releasing two reports — one on blockchain, the other on insurtech.

Arthur Wightman, PwC Bermuda leader, said: “In a PwC survey of 600 executives from 15 countries and territories, 84 per cent report blockchain initiatives under way.

“Everyone is talking about blockchain, no one wants to be left behind and it’s easy to see why. Our new report shows that blockchain is revolutionising the claim settlement process, dramatically reducing transaction costs, and opening up opportunities for more transparency and traceability and a potential for new products and services.”

He added: “Many industry- changing events have been discussed and witnessed over the 60-plus years of the Reinsurance Rendez-Vous, however, rarely if ever has a technology attracted so much interest and industry commentary.

“We have just launched our second volume of blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance, which reveals the wide level of interest and investment in this technology over the last year.”

Mr Wightman spoke about PwC’s round table in Monte Carlo, which included Dr Gerhard Lohmann, chairman of the B3i initiative.

“We discussed some of the reality of how blockchain is being used and the potential for it to be the catalyst and enabler to transform the global insurance and reinsurance industry.

“We heard from Dr Lohmann that B3i is the largest reinsurance industry initiative under way and how blockchain technology has the potential to help generate insurance protection where it isn’t existing today.”

PwC’s report, titled Blockchain, a catalyst for new approaches in insurance, analyses market launches in the (re)insurance industry carried out over the 2017-2018 period and offers different perspectives that highlight:

• First business use cases covered;

• How these the solutions were implemented by major market players or newcomers;

• Initial takeaways, as well as upcoming challenges foreseen by market players.

The report also looks at initial coin offerings, which raised around $4 billion last year, and $16 billion in the first half of 2018.

The second report, titled InsurTech Insights — How Insurtechs are transforming (re)insurers, looks at how Insurtechs are helping traditional insurers and reinsurers break the boundaries of the sector by:

• Transforming and optimising the existing value chain;

• Enabling new capabilities;

• Innovating underwriting;

• Facilitating partnerships or investments in disrupters outside of the traditional insurance sector.