Accenture and insurance firm Zurich Benelux have applied blockchain technology to help streamline customer experience and enhance transparency.


Image: Zurich Insurance headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo: Courtesy of Zurich.

Zurich Benelux offers insurance solutions within property, liability, engineering lines, financila lines and surety.

The blockchain-based solution helps the insurer’s customers in Benelux manage surety bonds.

Accenture has integrated a blockchain-based system into Zurich Benelux’s existing surety-management system and created a new user interface that serves as a transparent digital hub.

The solution has a dashboard that allows customers to quickly check the status of their bonds, get detailed bond history records, complete new bond requests and view bond forecasts.

Zurich Benelux chief operating officer Didier Murena said: “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.

“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.”

Surety bonds are three-party agreements, which guarantee performance or more general fulfilment of an obligation in a business transaction and are commonly used in construction projects.

According to Finaccord, the total value of gross written premiums and commissions for insurance-backed surety bonds across Europe could reach €3.26bn by next year.

Blockchain is a distributed database system, where the transaction and records can be signed, exchanged and verified without the control of a central party. This creates a high level of transparency and security.

Blockchain can help several stakeholders including notaries, brokers, reinsurers and co-surety partners in the insurance market, to interact with each other, creating a connected ecosystem while offering security and accuracy of the data.

Accenture financial services practice lead in Belgium and Luxembourg Kristof Lambert said: “We are excited to help Zurich Benelux integrate cutting-edge technology to improve its local customers’ experience.

“Blockchain creates a new backbone for insurers to communicate with various industry participants and simplifies processes.”