Tuesday 14, March 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Is Blockchain the missing piece of the puzzle?

One-day stream to launch discussions stressing on the massive potential Blockchain harbours to drive enhanced customer engagement

The inaugural edition of InsurTech Integrated, convened by leading financial intelligence platform, Middle East Global Advisors, will gravitate around the theme of “Harnessing Disruptive Technologies to Thrive in a Digital Era”.

In the wake of immense digitisation, insurers are no strangers to disruption. Even today, the effect of Catastrophe bonds on the reinsurance market is felt to have unexpected consequences on direct insurers. Constant innovation of business strategies has become vital in order to thrive and maintain a unique competitive edge.

A constantly growing and chronological digital ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever occurred, Blockchain has been known to be used extensively in the banking industry. Arguably called the greatest revolution since the dawn of the internet, it is vital to recognise the massive potential blockchain harbours in turning the tide in favour of the insurance landscape.

Blockchain builds on a set of four characteristics: decentralised validation, immutable storage, redundancy and encryption. Three prime avenues where effective implementation of blockchain can reap rewards for insurers include: increasing effectiveness in fraud detection and pricing, innovating insurance products & services and reducing administrative cost. Interestingly, as of 2014-15, investments in blockchain-related start-ups across industries had escalated to more than USD 800 million. (Mckinsey & Co., 2016)

Despite the fact that blockchain stands poised for exploration by insurers, unlocking its massive potential and harnessing it fully to drive efficiency is still a long way off. The core value of blockchain that is essentially extremely decentralised in nature, can only be realised basis extensive collaboration with relevant parties like competitors, suppliers, etc. This gives rise to a host of technological, market and regulatory obstacles. Another major challenge that blockchain faces is the fact that it is a substantial investment with a presumable five-year realisation timeline, making it logical to opt for alternative solutions that bring faster returns in areas that do not heavily depend on blockchain.

While blockchain may not bring immediate returns today, it is slated to underpin the sector’s growth in the future. In light of the growing disruption in the insurance sector, InsurTech Integrated will pioneer discussions focused on how effective implementation of blockchain could be of strategic interest to insurers. Leading experts comprising Max Di Gregorio, Partner, Digital & Technology Consulting Lead FS, PwC Middle East; Saqr Ereiqat, BlockChain Evangelist & Management Consultant and Cecil O’Brien Owens, Chairman & CEO, Total Technologies and Solutions FZ-LLC (‘TTS’) will discuss the key issues at hand extensively whilst offering valuable insights highlighting the opportunities and threats that come along with the technology.

InsurTech Integrated will take place on 12th of April at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai.

The stream aims to highlight the importance of developing digital proficiency amongst insurance operators in the light of stiff competition by spearheading a series of insight-generating discussions.

To find out more about InsurTech Integrated, visit www.insurtech-integrated.com.

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