At last week’s Blockchain in Insurance Summit, there were contrasting views about the potential for blockchain. The majority of incumbents focus on the efficiencies that blockchain digitization can bring. Others see this as ignoring the transformational potential of the technology. One compared insurance to being “print media and the internet just showed up.”
Dante Disparte, CEO of Risk Cooperative didn’t pull his punches. “If there’s one takeaway I have from the conversations over the last few days it’s that the technology gap isn’t the biggest gap or the biggest chasm to cross. It’s the cross arm leadership culture that has ossified in the insurance industry, where status quo is safe. And breaking from status quo is ultimately what a lot of this digital transformation is all about.”
For each group of players, there are efficiency opportunities, revenue opportunities, and existential threats. Much depends on the particular situation.
One view is with blockchain automation, brokers become redundant. The flipside is they own the client relationships.
Disparte, as a broker, sees it the latter way. “The distribution and the client access, so Willis (Towers Watson) and my firm are better defended today. We have a better moat around our company than the balance sheets do.”
It also depends on how commoditized the insurance is.