Eurapco, a strategic alliance of eight mutual European insurers, and B3i are launching Eurapco Unity, an operational solution built on blockchain infrastructure that enables the transfer of facultative risks within a network of companies.
Eurapco Unity remains a work in progress, but the solution has demonstrated its capabilities within marine insurance, where its developers decided to begin their initial work.
This work began when the Eurapco board and its chairman, Luca Filippone, asked the alliance’s general manager, Wilma de Bruijn, to identify an opportunity where blockchain could be used to benefit its members.
In response, de Bruijn created a workstream with the goal of identifying business cases across Eurapco partners where blockchain offers improvements to existing processes, encourages innovation, and helps gaining hands-on understanding of the technology.
“Trust and transparency are fundamental values we cultivate in the alliance and we needed to ensure these principles were further translated into our operations,” de Bruijn explains.
“Exploring blockchain came as a natural step in the creation of tangible and sustainable value for our partners.”
Following in-depth market and technological research, Eurapco selected marine insurance and reinsurance as areas where blockchain could bring concrete benefits by increasing transparency and security, while significantly reducing administrative effort.
In December 2020, Eurapco, together with partners Achmea, la Mobilière, Reale Group and B3i, delivered the minimum viable product version of Eurapco Unity, enabling the transfer of facultative risks in a network of companies in marine insurance.
‘We have built a great system that will open the door to many more future opportunities’
Dieter Lammertz, head of marine and fine art at la Mobilière, explains the solution’s benefits: “A new world of digitalisation has opened up for us. Documents are quickly accessed and via a chat message the transaction is transmitted to all partners. All data remains in the blockchain and cannot be altered.”
“I am convinced that we will generate considerable time savings and am already excited about what this system can achieve.”
“In future, all accounts and claims handling will also be managed with this system, saving additional time and resources. Together we have built a great system that will open the door to many more future opportunities.”
Antonio di Marzo, head of products at B3i, the global blockchain initiative owned by 21 major insurers, says: “The Eurapco alliance is pioneering the adoption of B3i distributed ledger technology (DLT) while pushing the boundaries of admin free risk transfer within a defined group of peers and competitors.”
Eurapco Unity is “just one example of a common DLT use case, and this implementation is a great showcase for other risk pools”, di Marzo says.
“Eurapco acts as a framework enabler, establishing the rules and protocols to be followed by members to cooperate and share risks in full compliance, as respective requirements are already imbedded in the protocol. With DLT removing the need for unnecessary administration, users can focus on adding value.”
John Carolin, chief executive officer of B3i, adds: “This is the first bespoke application built on B3i’s Fluidity platform, and we are pleased to see that this has significantly reduced application development time, cost and complexity, enabling us to deliver the same for further B3i partners and third-party application developers.”
Eurapco is planning to expand Unity to new business lines, smart contracts, additional insurers and much more this year, according to senior programme manager Ivan Lippa.