AIG partners with IBM in blockchain venture


Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) has partnered with technology firm IBM to develop a "smart" insurance policy that uses blockchain to manage complex international coverage, Reuters reported on June 14.

Blockchain is a method of recording data—transactions, contracts, agreements—in a way that means the data are simultaneously stored, but also updated in real time—on hundreds or even thousands of computers globally. The advantage of this is that it makes the data almost impossible to tamper with or hack into—yet it is also accessible and updated instantly for every user.

AIG and IBM completed a pilot of a so-called "smart contract" multi-national policy for Standard Chartered Bank which the companies said is the first of its kind using blockchain's.

The Standard Chartered policy uses blockchain to facilitate sharing of real-time information for a main policy written in the United Kingdom, where the bank is headquartered, and three local policies in the United States, Singapore and Kenya.

The digital ledger technology has the potential to reshape the insurance industry. A blockchain insurance inititiative called B3i has gained 15 members since its launch in October 2016, including Achmea, Aegon, Ageas, Allianz, Generali, Hannover Re, SCOR, Liberty Mutual, Munich Re, RGA, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine Holdings, XL Catlin and Zurich Insurance Group.

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