The blockchain has penetrated the mainstream. We predicted this in our 2019 article “Blockchain-as-a-Service: the Accelerator for Blockchain Adoption”
where we talked about the technology's ease of integration. Companies can seamlessly adopt blockchain technologies by referring to existing use cases like smart contracts, data authentication, and asset management. They can also take advantage of open-source materials.
With the blockchain's accessibility on top of its formidable qualities, it’s no surprise that the digital ledger system is being integrated into every industry–from banking and healthcare to gaming and cybersecurity. As a cornerstone of the rise of financial technology or fintech, another industry it’s now serving is auto insurance. Here’s how the blockchain is revolutionizing the auto insurance industry:
Benefits of the blockchain in auto insurance
Multiple back-and-forths can slow down the manual processing of both insurance contracts and filed claims. Blockchain-based tools can speed this up by accessing necessary information through the data network. Insurers can easily access and verify the personally-identifiable information (PII) required for insurance contracts via the blockchain, as well. This means no lengthy coordination with other parties, shorter queuing time, and less paperwork.
Moreover, the blockchain helps those who buy auto insurance worry less about their PII being used by malicious individuals and organizations. Monash University asserts blockchain security effectiveness
by pointing out how its design can alert any network of even the most minor changes to the data it contains. This is because blocks containing data are marked with hashes–input strings of computation characters–that become invalid when information is modified. When hashes become invalid, the network is notified. With such a prompt and responsive alert system, insurance agencies can easily detect hacking activities to protect sensitive data.
Blockchain applications in auto insurance
The most significant benefit of the blockchain’s application in auto insurance arguably lies in optimizing property and casualty (P&C) insurance verification processes. Sound Dollar defines property and casualty insurance
as coverage for any damage the possessions stipulated in your contract incurs. Blockchain-based tools, like smart contracts, can immediately gather relevant information from an insurer's network to verify damaged possessions. It can also identify which ones are covered by your insurance contract. This streamlined verification process saves insurers billions of dollars in operational costs and makes filing a claim much easier for the client.
The blockchain can also be used to minimize and prevent fraud. Some of the best blockchain-based tools can identify whether an individual claims payouts from multiple insurers. These tools cross-check PII and non-PII with salient information from claims filed elsewhere to check for similarities. Moreover, the Insurance Innovation Reporter found that
advancements in anti-fraud blockchain technology can detect third-party helpers, such as garages and brokers. This enables insurers to expand their data on fraudulent networks and prevent future cases of fraud.
Challenges to full implementation of the blockchain in auto insurance
Before full-on integration, developers and businesses have to address data integrity. While blockchain data cannot be edited, it does not ascertain that encoded information is true. This means data has to be verified before it's encoded on the blockchain. Blockchain-based technology is also expected to become more expensive in the coming years. As it becomes mainstream, demand for the technology and relevant development research will further drive operation and maintenance costs upwards.
There is still much work to be done if the auto insurance industry wishes to fully integrate the blockchain into its workflows. But with the long-term benefits it brings, insurers and clients alike will undoubtedly look to blockchain-based technology for improved services and a better overall experience.