EY, Maersk and Microsoft are putting boats on the blockchain with marine insurance tech platform

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Insurance can be simplified with blockchain technology (Source: Getty)

EY, shipping giant mersk and Microsoft are among the companies planning to get boats on the blockchain, or their insurance, at least.

The professional services firm is building a blockchain-based platform that can streamline marine insurance for the shipping industry.

It is working with Estonian enterprise blockchain startup Guardtime and Microsoft to build the technology and insurance groups ACORD ans XL Catlin to put it to the test.

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Having already created a proof of concept (POC) a trial will now begin with the goal of rolling it out fully next year.

Having insurance contracts on blockchain's distributed ledger will streamline the process of providing an managing marine insurance the group says, bringing tohgether all the iunformation regarding a policy in one place, with easy access and in real-time. 

“Blockchain’s potential to transform the insurance ecosystem has always been clear. What we have done is to move forward from potential to reality," said EY global insurance lead Shaun Crawford.

"This solution is the first to apply blockchain’s transparency, security and standardization to marine insurance and is ready for commercial use," he said, adding that it is also looking at other areas of insurance where it can be used.

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Current systems involve multiple parties with a lot of paperwork making it slow and complicated.

"Insurance transactions are currently far too tedious and frictional," said Maersk head of risk and insurance Lars Henneberg. "The distance between risk and capital is simply too far. Blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate the desired development that is long overdue.”

President and chief executive of Acord, the global insurance body, Bill Pieroni said: "This first-of-a-kind effort has the potential to dramatically reduce time, cost and risk across the entire insurance value chain."