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Web Alert: Maersk and partners to implement blockchain-based marine insurance platform

19 October 2017

Ship operator, Maersk, in conjunction with Consultancy firm EY, data security firm Guardtime, and Microsoft have collaborated in order to build a blockchain-based marine insurance platform that will be the first real-world use of the nascent technology in the shipping industry when it is rolled out in January of 2018.

While the technology, essentially a highly secure method of recording data through a digital ledger of transactions, agreements, and contracts, has been used to varying degrees in the banking sector, and on a small scale within the shipping industry, it may represent a watershed moment within the marine insurance industry, and the insurance industry as a whole.

The platform would allow for the digitization of transactions among the world's vast and interconnected network of shipowners, insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and third parties, and allow for the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents through a digital infrastructure. As such, the parties would have access to distributed common ledgers which would capture data about identities, risk and exposures, and integrate this information with insurance contracts. The technology would then have the capability of creating and maintaining asset data from multiple parties; linking data to policy contracts; receiving and acting upon information that results in a pricing process change; connecting client assets, transactions and payments; and capturing and validating updated first notification or loss data.

Ultimately, blockchain technology has the potential to have a major impact on the marine insurance sector, and it will be interesting to see how the industry will respond. In the meantime, The Standard Club continues to look at ways it can utilise new technologies to ensure it meets the needs of its members. In this regard, the club will shortly be launching an interactive member/broker portal, more information on which will follow in due course.