Yesterday, French headquartered technology company Atos announced its blockchain crop insurance solution won an award from an Indian trade association. The project was in the category of ‘Industrialization of Disruptive Technologies’ at the NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference (NATC) Awards 2019.
Atos said its solution aims to establish trust between farmers and insurance companies. It uses smart contracts and mobile payments to engender this trust.
Atos did not disclose technology details. In a hypothetical scenario, insurance companies can use the Atos solution to collate weather data from satellites and measure actual weather conditions like excess rains or droughts. Using this data, they can calculate the compensation to farmers for crop losses, automating the claims process.
For crop insurance or any insurance in general, the main pain point is verifying a claim. This involves a lot of to-and-fro along with physical inspections and calculating the loss. The paperwork can be cumbersome and can take months to settle a claim.
Farmers generally have a rolling financial cycle. They invest profits from one crop into another crop, and a pending insurance claim can affect their whole business. Atos said its claim settlement will be fully-automated to speed up the process.
Atos first plans to run a pilot in Kenya and then introduce the platform in other regions. It will also give farmers access to other financial products through this platform.
In 2017, Atos and French agricultural technical institutes network ACTA announced a collaboration for blockchain in the agriculture sector.
Several other projects are focusing on crop insurance. Insurance broker Aon is working with Oxfam and Etherisc to provide agricultural insurance to Sri Lankan farmers. UK’s parametric insurance provider Skyline Partners is also working on a weather catastrophe insurance product for Indian tea farmers.