Aon, partners launch blockchain-based insurance for farmers in Sri Lanka

Photo by Roxanne Desgagnes

Aon, Oxfam and Etherisc — the InsurTech startup developing a protocol for decentralized insurance applications — have launched a blockchain-based platform for farmers in Sri Lanka.

Nearly 200 farmers have enrolled in the solution that delivers micro-insurance to smallholder paddy field farmers in Sri Lanka who are at risk of losing their crops due to extreme weather.

“Expertise in climate-smart agriculture and our long-standing engagement with farmer communities, provides us with in-depth knowledge about the opportunities and challenges that farmers have to climate and weather events,” said Bojan Kolundzija, the country director of Oxfam in Sri Lanka.

“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,” he said.

In Sri Lanka, major barriers preventing farmers from using insurance include the lack of affordable and reliable insurance products, a lack of understanding about how insurance would help a farmer survive, and when and how a claim would be paid.

This new blockchain technology directly addresses those issues as the insurance products are automated. This automation transforms and simplifies the claims process so that a farmer does not need to submit a claim, and, at the same time, the insurer does not need to send a claims adjuster into the field.

In addition, this process results in reduced administration costs and, subsequently, a higher percent of premiums being used for claims payment and immediate, fully trusted pay-out.

Oxfam’s efforts are amplified by Aon’s expertise in reinsurance and global insights as well as Etherisc’s knowledge in applying blockchain technology to insurance.

Sanasa Insurance, Oxfam in Sri Lanka’s partner, has joined the initiative to provide local expertise, networks and operational execution.

Hugo Wegbrans, the chief broking officer of EMEA region for Aon, said this initiative allows the company to broaden the potential positive impact it can have on people, families and small businesses around the globe.