Japan’s Tokio Marine, Nichido Fire Insurance and NTT DATA See Blockchain Pilot for Marine Cargo a Success

According to reports coming from Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance, one of Japan's largest insurance companies has announced the completion and subsequent success of its trial which involved the handling and storage of relevant paperwork related to marine cargo insurance claims using blockchain technology.

The test itself was conducted by both Tokio Marine, and the IT firm, NTT Data. The former of which sent out a press release on Wednesday, citing that its blockchain proof of concept (PoC) had seen the active participation from eight separate overseas claim-settling agents and surveyors dotted around Europe, America and Asia.

The ultimate objective of this project was in order to achieve faster, more efficient insurance payouts to claimants by providing an effective system to collect and share the required information “promptly and accurately,” with international partners being involved without any limits to co-operation.

At the moment, the process of filing for marine insurance, alongside filing a claim for this same insurance is carried out manually. This process involves agents collecting all of the necessary documents, along with damage reports, invoices and insurance policies in order to effectively substantiate the claim. These then have to be provided either in paper form or via PDF files. This documentation is then submitted to the surveyors via email.

While the process has been tried and tested, it's in dire need of an update compared to other areas of insurance. Between the two companies, they've each stated that the trial allowed them to quickly store and share all the relevant information required for a claim. These include larger files such as photographs relevant to the insurance claim, over to agents and surveyors.

The application of blockchain technology ultimately provided a way in which insurance payout periods would be successfully reduced from over a month to ‘one week at most.' Along with this, overall performance and operational efficiency were significantly improved, the full release adds the following:

“We have confirmed the effectiveness of blockchain technology in marine cargo insurance claims procedures through this PoC.”

These two companies first announced this project back in October last year and managed to carry out the trial over a span of November 2017 across to August 2018.

The firms said they expect to continue to work on the platform going forward, and aim to achieve the “practical use” of the technology in the financial year of 2019.

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