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5 Real-world Blockchain Use-cases in Insurance Industry

Nearly 80% of insurance executives have either already adopted or planning to pilot blockchain technology across their business units. The level of trust, transparency, and immutability that blockchain (distributed ledger technology) provides is impeccable. 

blockchain insurance use cases- benefits

Blockchain offers an independently verifiable dataset so that insurers, as well as customers, need not suffer from decisions based on inappropriate/incomplete information. In the instances of travel insurance, blockchain-based systems use external data sources to validate whether a flight was missed or canceled. Accordingly, insurers can decide on processing refund claims. Well, blockchain can handle even more complex situations of road accidents by accurately determining the vehicle or human fault.

The 5 practical blockchain use-cases in the insurance industry are-

  1. Fraud detection
  2. IoT & Blockchain together to structure data
  3. Multiple risk participation/Reinsurance
  4. On-demand insurance
  5. Microinsurance

Fraud Detection

In the US alone, every year fraudulent claims account for more than $40 billion, which is excluding health insurance. Despite digitization, the standard methods fail to recognize fraud. Blockchain can help in fraud detection and prevention to a great extent. 

Blockchain ensures that all the executed transactions are permanent and timestamped. I.e. no one, including insurers, can modify the data preventing any kind of breaches. This data can further help in defining patterns of fraudulent transactions, which insurers can use in their fraud prevention algorithms. 

Fraud detection using blockchain use case: Etherisc

Powered by smart contracts, Etherisc independently verifies claims by using multiple data sources. For example, for crop insurance claims, it compares satellite images, weather reports, and drone images with the image provided by the claimant. 

IoT & Blockchain together to structure data

As IoT will connect more and more devices, the amount of data generated from each of the devices will increase significantly. For instance, there were 26.66 billion active IoT devices in 2019 and nearly 127 IoT devices connect to the internet every second

This data is extremely valuable for insurers to develop accurate actuarial models and usage-based insurance models. Considering the auto insurance sector, the data collected about driving time, distances, acceleration, breaking patterns, and other behavioral statistics can identify high-risk drivers. 

But, the question is — how to manage the enormous data as millions of devices are communicating every second. 

And the answer is a blockchain!

It allows users (insurers) to manage large and complex networks on a peer-to-peer basis. Instead of building expensive data centers, blockchain offers a decentralized platform to store and process data. 

Multiple risk participation/Reinsurance

Reinsurance is insurance for insurers. It protects the insurers when large volumes of claims come in. 

Also read – 5 biggest insurance claims payouts in history

Because of information silos and lengthy processes, the current reinsurance system is highly inefficient. Blockchain can bring twofold advantages to reinsurers. One — unbreached records for accurate claims analysis and two — speeding-up the process through automated data/information sharing. PwC estimates that blockchain can help the reinsurance industry save up to $10 billion by improving operational efficiency.

For example, in 2017, B3i (a consortium for exploring blockchain in insurance) launched a smart contract management system for Property Cat XOL contracts. It is a type of reinsurance for catastrophe insurance.

On-demand insurance

On-demand insurance is a flexible insurance model, where policyholders can turn on and off their insurance policies in just a click. More the interactions with policy documents, the greater the hassle to manage the records. 

For instance, on-demand insurance requires underwriting, policy documents, buyers records, costing, risk, claims, and so on much more than traditional insurance policies.

But, thanks to blockchain technology, maintaining ledgers (records) has become simpler. On-demand insurance players can leverage blockchain for efficient record-keeping from the inception of the policy until its disposal. An interesting blockchain insurance use cases is that of Ryskex — a German InsurTech, founded in 2018. It provides blockchain-powered insurance platform to B2B insurers to transfer risks faster and more transparently. 

Microinsurance

Instead of an all-encompassing insurance policy, microinsurance offers security against specific perils for regular premium payments, which are far less than regular insurances. Microinsurance policies deliver profits only when distributed in huge volumes. However, because of low profit-margin and high distribution cost, despite immediate benefits, microinsurance policies don’t get the deserved traction. 

Blockchain can offer a parametric insurance platform. With this, insurers will need fewer local agents and “oracles” can replace adjusters on the ground. For example, Surity.ai uses blockchain to offer microinsurance to the Asian populace, especially those not having access to the services of banks or other financial organizations. 

For further queries around blockchain / insurance use cases, please feel free to drop us a word at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.

Related blockchain articles – 

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Implementing a Clean Architecture with Nest.JS

4 minutes read

This article is for enthusiasts who strive to write clean, scalable, and more importantly refactorable code. It will give an idea about how Nest.JS can help us write clean code and what underlying architecture it uses.

Implementing a clean architecture with Nest.JS will require us to first comprehend what this framework is and how it works.

What is Nest.JS?

Nest or Nest.JS is a framework for building efficient, scalable Node.js applications (server-side) built with TypeScript. It uses Express or Fastify and allows a level of abstraction to enable developers to use an ample amount of modules (third-party) within their code.

Let’s dig deeper into what is this clean architecture all about. 

Well, you all might have used or at least heard of MVC architecture. MVC stands for Model, View, Controller. The idea behind this is to separate our project structure into 3 different sections.

1. Model: It will contain the Object file which maps with Relation/Documents in the DB.

2. Controller: It is the request handler and is responsible for the business logic implementation and all the data manipulation.

3. View: This part will contain files that are concerned with the displaying of the data, either HTML files or some templating engine files.

To create a model, we need some kind of ORM/ODM tool/module/library to build it with. For instance, if you directly use the module, let’s say ‘sequelize’, and then use the same to implement login in your controller and make your core business logic dependent upon the ‘sequelize’. Now, down the line, let’s say after 10 years, there is a better tool in the market that you want to use, but as soon as you replace sequelize with it, you will have to change lots of lines of code to prevent it from breaking. Also, you’ll have to test all the features once again to check if it’s deployed successfully or not which may waste valuable time and resource as well. To overcome this challenge, we can use the last principle of SOLID which is the Dependency Inversion Principle, and a technique called dependency injection to avoid such a mess.

Still confused? Let me explain in detail.

So, what Dependency Inversion Principle says in simple words is, you create your core business logic and then build dependency around it. In other words, free your core logic and business rules from any kind of dependency and modify the outer layers in such a way that they are dependent on your core logic instead of your logic dependent on this. That’s what clean architecture is. It takes out the dependency from your core business logic and builds the system around it in such a way that they seem to be dependent on it rather than it being dependent on them.

Let’s try to understand this with the below diagram.

Source: Clean Architecture Cone 

You can see that we have divided our architecture into 4 layers:

1. Entities: At its core, entities are the models(Enterprise rules) that define your enterprise rules and tell what the application is about. This layer will hardly change over time and is usually abstract and not accessible directly. For eg., every application has a ‘user’. What all fields the user should store, their types, and relations with other entities will comprise an Entity.

2. Use cases: It tells us how can we implement the enterprise rules. Let’s take the example of the user again. Now we know what data to be operated upon, the use case tells us how to operate upon this data, like the user will have a password that needs to be encrypted, the user needs to be created, and the password can be changed at any given point of time, etc.

3. Controllers/Gateways: These are channels that help us to implement the use cases using external tools and libraries using dependency injection.

4. External Tools: All the tools and libraries we use to build our logic will come under this layer eg. ORM, Emailer, Encryption, etc.

The tools we use will be depending upon how we channel them to use cases and in turn, use cases will depend upon the entities which is the core of our business. This way we have inverted the dependency from outwards to inwards. That’s what the Dependency Inversion Principal of SOLID implies.

Okay, by now, you got the gist of Nest.JS and understood how clean architecture works. Now the question arises, how these two are related?  

Let’s try to understand what are the 3 building blocks of Nest.JS and what each of them does.

  1. Modules: Nest.JS is structured in such a way that we can treat each feature as a module. For eg., anything which is linked with the User such as models, controllers, DTOs, interfaces, etc., can be separated as a module. A module has a controller and a bunch of providers which are injectible functionalities like services, orm, emailer, etc.
  1. Controllers: Controllers in Nest.JS are interfaces between the network and your logic. They are used to handle requests and return responses to the client side of the application (for example, call to the API).
  1. Providers (Services): Providers are injectable services/functionalities which we can inject into controllers and other providers to provide flexibility and extra functionality. They abstract any form of complexity and logic.

To summarize,

  • We have controllers that act as interfaces (3rd layer of clean architecture)
  • We have providers which can be injected to provide functionality (4th layer of clean architecture: DB, Devices, etc.)
  • We can also create services and repositories to define our use case (2nd Layer)
  • We can define our entities using DB providers (1st Layer)

Conclusion:

Nest.JS is a powerful Node.JS framework and the most well-known typescript available today. Now that you’ve got the lowdown on this framework, you must be wondering if we can use it to build a project structure with a clean architecture. Well, the answer is -Yes! Absolutely. How? I’ll explain in the next series of this article. 

Till then, Stay tuned!

About the Author:

Junaid Bhat is currently working as a Tech Lead in Mantra Labs. He is a tech enthusiast striving to become a better engineer every day by following industry standards and aligned towards a more structured approach to problem-solving. 


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