Allianz launches blockchain claims solution in 23 countries – Ledger Insights
Allianz, Europe’s largest insurer, went into production in mid-May with a solution to streamline international auto insurance claims. The enterprise blockchain platform has been deployed in 23 European subsidiaries.
In the first six weeks after launch, hundreds of Allianz employees processed approximately 145,000 transactions supporting more than 10,000 international claims.
“We’ve been building quietly for a while,” said Bob Crozier, head of enterprise architecture and global head of blockchain at Allianz Technology. He noted that many corporate blockchain teams fell silent after the 2018 hype cycle. “I think that’s when the real work started,” he said. .
“We’re just excited to bring an emerging technology like blockchain and make it real to the business and bring real and tangible business value to Allianz. “
As with most blockchain projects that reach deployment, the solution addresses a tricky business problem. If a customer is insured by Allianz Hungary and is involved in a car accident in France, the claim concerns both Allianz Hungary and Allianz France, two separate legal entities. This usually results in an email communication between companies regarding the details of the claim, which can take weeks and now takes a few minutes.
Using the blockchain, there is a single source record of the decision regarding each claim. This reduces the time spent on administration and therefore costs, and it means that the complaint is settled faster for the customer.
Allianz uses three criteria or models to assess the suitability of blockchain to solve a business problem. Crozier described them as “mirrored process, which is. Audit trail, so that you know this single source of decisions that are made about complaints. And of course reconciliation. “An additional reason for choosing blockchain includes the future opening of the blockchain network to organizations outside of Allianz.
Path to manufacturing
The claim solution hit production fairly quickly. The first proof of concept (PoC) was defined as a three-month challenge for blockchain master’s students at Fortiss, which is part of the Technological University of Munich. A little over a year ago, Allianz integrated its solution to convert it into an enterprise solution. The “two pizza teams” combined staff from London-based startup Luther Systems and the Blockchain Center of Competence in Allianz in India. Prior to launch, three of Allianz’s largest European subsidiaries piloted the solution.
Crozier wanted to emphasize the importance of the team, not only on the technology side, but also the sales, legal and compliance teams in 23 companies.
One of the most difficult jobs with so many participants, even if it’s within the same group, is making sure that the stakeholders are aligned in the same direction.
Another hurdle we hear a lot about at Ledger Insights is legal issues, but it wasn’t a big issue. “We used them as constraints, as innovation challenges to work with them,” said Crozier.
A real challenge was the education needed to get people “beyond the first page of Google on what blockchain is, what its value is and why we chose it,” he said.
And having a demonstrable project that saves hundreds of internal users time helps people appreciate its value. It will certainly help move forward.
How it works
When a person submits a car accident insurance claim, Allianz Hungary will determine that it is a cross-border claim and use the international claims portal, which is connected to the country’s node on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network. What is recorded on the blockchain is data such as the policy number, claim number, countries involved, and other details of the claim. However, it does not contain any personally identifiable information. While the blockchain is used to record transaction data, next to it is a relational database of the local country where the personal information resides.
Besides the facts of the claim, smart contracts are used to determine the allocation of costs between the two organizations, as well as VAT and billing calculations.
The currently deployed version is the minimum viable product, with the goal of expanding it by the end of the year, including generation of invoices and integration with the core insurance platform. Crozier sees what they have so far as the building blocks to extend the solution outside the company to repair shops and connected car manufacturers. Now that the solution is operational, the initial awareness of companies has begun.
When asked if Allianz would consider opening up the solution to other insurers, given that most auto claims are settled between insurers, Crozier said it would be considered, but thinks it is a challenge. most important. “We all have to be at the same speed to be able to do this,” he said and noted that the solution is designed to work with any basic insurance platform.
Crozier also sits on the board of directors of the B3i insurance consortium, of which Allianz is a member, and is optimistic about how blockchain can solve business problems.
“I think we’re really at the beginning of seeing this technology (the corporate blockchain) mature and bring real added value to businesses,” said Crozier. “The pace of live production deployments is getting stronger. ”