MetLife Subsidiary Lumenlab To Automate Life Insurance Claims Using Blockchain

LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation center, is partnering with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and NTUC Income (Income) to simplify life insurance claims for bereaved families using blockchain technology.

In a press release, LumenLab announced that the three companies are working together on a blockchain initiative, dubbed “Lifechain.” The goal of the initiative is to allow bereaved families who place their obituaries in a local newspaper to trigger searches to see if their loved ones had a life insurance policy.

“In Singapore, placing an obituary is one of the first tasks handled by family members when a loved one passes away, while more involved tasks like filing a life insurance claim are put on the backburner,” LumenLab said. “Given that both tasks require a lot of the same information about the deceased person, SPH, Income and LumenLab saw an opportunity to apply blockchain technology to automate the life insurance claim verification process.”

The pilot of the project will begin later this month and will target 1,000 randomly selected Income life insurance policyholders. During the pilot, people who place obituaries in The Straits Times will be informed about Lifechain and, upon their consent, the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number will be submitted into ‘Lifechain’ as hashed data to trigger a search for a matching life insurance policy.

When a match is found, SPH will inform family members within one working day, while ‘Lifechain’ will send an automatic notification to Income via email to initiate the claims process. SPH will also inform family members when a match is not found so that they can proceed to make checks and file claims with other insurers.

Julian Tan, Chief of Digital Business of SPH, said that they are hoping to expand ‘Lifechain’ to include more insurers in time to come to bring greater convenience to family members attending to the deceased’s administrative matters securely.

“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,” Tan said. “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, CIO of MetLife Asia and CEO of LumenLab, said that the future of distributed ledger technology in life insurance will somewhat depend on public sector involvement.

“Those jurisdictions and governments that are more innovative will see citizens and policyholders in their jurisdictions benefit from less friction, more fulfilled payments, and a general overall improved experience,” Zaman said.

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