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MetLife, the world’s sixth-largest insurance company, using Ethereum to transform life insurance

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MetLife, one of the globe’s largest providers of insurance, is using Ethereum to transform the life insurance claims process.

Using Ethereum to transform life insurance

LumenLab, MetLife’s Singapore-based incubator, is collaborating with media group Singapore Press Holdings and insurance cooperative NTUC Income to release “Lifechain,” a smart contract platform built on Ethereum, reported Forbes contributor Steven Ehrlich.

The life insurance claims process naturally comes with notable friction. After the loss of a family member, filing a claim can be difficult. And, because of the private nature of life insurance, sometimes families are unaware the deceased was insured.

Lifechain programmatically determines if the deceased was protected by a policy and automatically files a claim.

How it works

When a government database issues a death certificate, the system retrieves the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card and encrypts it onto the Ethereum blockchain. This triggers query on NTUC Income’s databases looking for a matching life insurance policy.

If a match is found, Singapore Press Holdings will inform the family members, and presumably release an obituary. Meanwhile, NTUC Income will initiate the life insurance claim process.

Benefits of the blockchain

Overall, the process eliminates multiple steps in the claims process, giving more space for a family to mourn. The innovation could also lower prices and result in new services around tokenization.

Zia Zaman, CIO of MetLife Asia and CEO of LumenLab, said:

“The future of distributed ledger technology in life insurance will somewhat depend on public sector involvement. Those jurisdictions and governments that are more innovative will see citizens and policyholders in their jurisdictions benefit from less friction, more fulfilled payments, and a general overall improved experience,” in a comment to Ehrlich.

Ethereum is changing the enterprise landscape

The news is another indicator that Ethereum will have real-life enterprise applications. MetLife is the globe’s sixth-largest non-health insurance provider and the mutual company has 90 million customers in over 60 countries. The firm is ranked 44th on the Fortune 500 list.

Ethereum could see a substantial increase in use if the insurance industry begins using the blockchain platform. Especially when considering that, in the U.S. alone, life and health insurance premiums total $595 billion annually.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise. A multitude of large corporations are incorporating Ethereum into their services and processes, including Microsoft, Ubisoft, JPMorgan, and IBM.

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