The Institutes' RiskStream Collaborative goes beyond blockchain

Launched in 2017, The Institutes' RiskBlock Alliance was formed to help make blockchain technology viable in insurance. Under the leadership of president Chris McDaniel, the group has largely succeeded in that mission. However, as the vision of integrated digital transformation has expanded in the industry, so has the group's mandate. McDaniel talks to Digital Insurance about the group's new name -- the Riskstream Collaborative -- and how it will add a suite of technologies to its blockchain expertise.

Digital Insurance: So why the new name?
Chris McDaniel: We have looked at the future of the risk and insurance industry and where it's going. We still strongly believe that blockchain is the foundation, but don't think it's the only tech that's necessary. You need to take analytics, AI, IOT into account as well. Having "block" in our name pigeonholed us. We want to create a "stream" of knowledge of many digital innovations.

Christopher McDaniel.jpg
Chris McDaniel, The Institutes

DI: What form will that take?
CM: Currently we have a standardized blockchain platform, Canopy. We're on version 2.2 of that now. But we're going to expand into creating standardized interfaces for IoT, analytics nodes, things like that in version 3.0. It's going to expand.

DI: You recently announced a reinsurance product along with Guy Carpenter and Aon. Is that still a blockchain item?
CM: Everything falls into that category right now, because in our canopy platform we don't have the extensions created yet. Right now, the placement proof of concept that we built is a blockchain solution. But we are building the full end to end reinsurance solution. The placement process and other things that are manual really have to be streamlines and automated in the short term.

DI: How about other lines of business, what's new there?
CM: We are in production with our personal lines offerings and are building out commercial. We're also in surety bonds and worker's comp. We have been working with our friends at LIMRA since the beginning of this year on a know-your-customer solution that will focus on the death master file initially, called Mortality Monitor. We got the thumbs up from our life and annuitiy members to begin the design of a second use case around automation of licenses and appointments. Right now it's extremely hard for every distributor, they have rooms full of filing cabinets to track licensing of all their agents and producers.

DI: Anything else you want to add?
CM: Not only are we expanding in these other lines of business, but also expanding goographically. We're up into canada, and are building interest in APAC and the UK, and fully expect to have good preseences there by the end of the year. We're becoming a lot more than just U.S. blockchain.

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