Most people associate the term "blockchain" with cryptocurrencies
such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum. Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, but it is also a technology in its own right that has many uses.
Blockchain is an immutable ledger that tracks transactions and assets, like cash and patents. All parties have access to the same data simultaneously, eliminating intermediaries and making it a cost-effective way to track assets. It could, for example, track a flight delay and automatically refund a customer’s money.
A German blockchain start-up Etherisc launched an insurance product, FlightDelay,
which uses blockchain to automatically issue policies and execute payouts for flight delays and cancellations on around 80 airlines. Customers can buy policies with cryptocurrency and receive claims in cryptocurrency.
Flight delays are where blockchain-based insurance can make a difference in the travel insurance domain. Data on delays and cancellations
is readily accessible, and all assist in automatic payments. This way, companies that offer flight insurance can avoid higher claims-processing costs and save on data protection costs because blockchain is secure.
U.S. Insurance Regulations Prevent Blockchain-based Travel Insurance
In the U.S, there is a need for state-by-state approval for changes in regulations. Blockchain’s appearance in the U.S. insurance industry may take another ten or fifteen years. However, the potential of blockchain-based insurance products is huge. Insurance companies can sell them at much lower costs compared to traditional insurance products.
Blockchain Can Change the Travel Insurance Business
Interestingly, the U.S. already has an insurance product similar to FlightDelay but none of them have the blockchain component. Called ‘parametric insurance’, an auto payout is done when some parameter is violated. Using blockchain technology to offer this insurance could save money and enable insurers to pass on some of the savings to the customers. Insurance industry experts think blockchain will definitely make a mark in the travel insurance domain and can change the way travel insurance businesses operate at large.