Allianz, Europe’s biggest insurer, is testing and investing in the blockchain technology. Its subsidiary Allianz Risk Transfer AG worked with Bermuda-based investment manager Nephila Capital to test blockchain in a natural catastrophe swap transaction.
The company expects the technology underpinning virtual currency bitcoin to encourage trading in catastrophe bonds, which transfers the risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes to investors. In the case of a so-called financial cat swap, the insurer pays a third party to assume the financial risk of a defined catastrophe event such as a Florida hurricane in exchange for a payment.
If the event occurs and meets the pre-defined trigger criteria, the third party is responsible for the pre-agreed financial risk. Richard Boyd, Bermuda-based chief underwriting officer, says: “Blockchain technology would increase reliability, auditability and speed for both cat swaps and bonds as less manual processing, authentication and verification through intermediaries is required to confirm the legitimacy of payments/transactions to and from the investors.” The company further said there was a need to start discussions with regulators on how to manage the technology to benefit customers.
Additionally Allianz just announced it will invest in Berlin startup Simplesurance. The young fintech company has developed a platform that makes it easy for e-tailers to cross-sell product insurance at the point of sale. The Simplesurance’s solution integrates into the checkout process of online retailers and offers a one-click buying experience for their customers.
“We are convinced that Simplesurance is an ideal partner. Simplesurance complements the international distribution of our insurance solutions,” said Sylvie Ouziel, CEO Assistance of Allianz Worldwide Partners.
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