Accenture and Zurich Benelux, a leading multi-line insurer, have debuted a first-of-its-kind blockchain-based solution that helps the insurer’s customers in Benelux manage surety bonds.
Surety bonds are three-party agreements designed to guarantee performance or more general fulfilment of an obligation in a business transaction, most commonly in construction projects. The total value of gross written premiums and commissions for insurance-backed surety bonds across Europe is projected to reach €3.26 billion by 2019, according to Finaccord.
Accenture has integrated a blockchain-based system with Zurich Benelux’s existing surety-management back-end and created a new user interface that serves as a one-stop, transparent digital hub. The solution includes an easy-to-use dashboard that enables customers to quickly check the status of their bonds, get detailed bond history records, complete new bond requests and view bond forecasts.
Blockchain is a distributed database system in which transactions and records can be signed, exchanged and verified without the control of a central party, creating a level of transparency, security and trust not previously possible. Flexible and future-proof, this technology is poised to revolutionize operations across a multitude of sectors, enabling additional stakeholders — such as notaries, brokers, reinsurers and co-surety partners in the insurance market — to interact with each other, creating a more-connected ecosystem while ensuring confidence in the security and accuracy of the data.
“We are excited to help Zurich Benelux integrate cutting-edge technology to improve its local customers’ experience,” said Kristof Lambert, who leads Accenture’s Financial Services practice in Belgium and Luxembourg. “Blockchain creates a new backbone for insurers to communicate with various industry participants and simplifies processes.”
“What was once a cumbersome process for customers and beneficiaries done over the phone or through e-mail with customer support representatives can now be done seamlessly online,” said Didier Murena, Chief Operating Officer for Zurich Benelux. “Blockchain technology transforms the way we exchange information with our customers and others across the insurance value chain. This product will reduce the administrative burden for customers, third parties and our employees, allowing them to focus on tasks that require greater levels of service and care.”
Antony Elliott, Group Head of Business Transformation at Zurich Insurance Group added: “We believe that blockchain is an important technology to leverage network effects across insurance ecosystems. This is a great example where we are learning how distributed ledgers can support this vision while delivering tangible benefits to our customers.”