Aon partners with insurtech to create blockchain-based microinsurance

Aon has partnered with the charity Oxfam of Sri Lanka, along with the insurtech Etherisc, for a blockchain-based platform for farmers in Sri Lanka. The agricultural insurance policies are focused on aid smallholder farmers, already enrolling 200 members.

The goal is to reduce the financial hurdles preventing small farmers from obtaining proper insurance. In addition to not being able to afford it and a lack of industry literacy, farmers also suffered from not understanding the claims process. Through automation, the new product won’t require farmers to file claims or for an adjuster to go out into the field. Etherisc provides the blockchain technology while Sanasa Insurance, Oxfam in Sri Lanka’s partner, provides “local expertise, networks and operational execution.”

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A worker removes a sisal (Agave sisalana) seedling from a dried out plant at a farm in the town of Valente, Bahia state, Brazil, on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Brazil is the largest producing country of sisal and exports around 100,000 tonnes of raw fiber and manufactured goods, particularly rope to the U.S., according to the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

“Allowing farmers to access the blockchain platform is an important milestone that is bringing an effective and affordable risk transfer mechanism to a large portion of the Sri Lanka economy,” shares Bojan Kolundzija, the Country Director of Oxfam in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s severe weather is one of its greatest perils for crops, Kolundzija adds.

“Farmers represent a third of the workforce and account for almost 20 percent of the economy, yet very few have insurance. This made Sri Lanka a perfect candidate to feel the benefits of decentralized, collaborative and automated insurance,” states Michiel Berende, Chief Inclusive Officer at Etherisc.

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