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MetLife’s LumenLab develops blockchain for life insurance claims

bereavement life insurance

MetLife’s Asian innovation lab LumenLab is developing LifeChain, a blockchain to start the life insurance claims process in Singapore. The novel approach is to initiate the claim when an obituary is posted in a newspaper because the data about the deceased loved one can match up with an insurance policy. Hence LumenLab is collaborating with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Singapore insurance cooperative NTUC Income.

When publishing an obituary, many loved ones are not yet ready to start dealing with the relative’s estate. LifeChain aims to help expedite the process.

This month there will be a pilot with 1,000 randomly selected NTUC life insurance clients.

How it works

When a family posts a bereavement notice in the Straits Times, they will be asked for consent to use LifeChain. They will enter the identity number of the deceased person and a hash of the number, like an indecipherable fingerprint, will be used to search LifeChain. If there’s a match, LifeChain will trigger an email to NTUC to start the claims process. Family members will be informed about whether or not a policy was found.

“This initiative is also in line with our push for the digital business, tapping on innovation and growing our partnerships to serve our customers better,” said Julian Tan, Chief of Digital Business of SPH. “SPH aims to be the go-to partner for insurers to reach policyholders’ beneficiaries, as soon as advertisers place an obituary in the future.”

Zia Zaman heads LumenLabs, and both he and the organization have a blockchain track record. Previously, the company created an innovative blockchain-based parametric insurance policy for mothers with diabetes during pregnancy.

In the U.S., RiskStream (formerly RiskBlock) is exploring blockchain applications with LIMRA the life insurance industry body. There are two potential initial projects. One is Mortality Monitor, which will check death registries and match against policies.

The Blockchain for Insurance conference takes please in London on June 18-19th.